No, her cries are pleas from a defenseless life born into a world of uncertainty, hoping and trusting that there is someone to love her.
I used to awaken to the sounds of traffic swiftly sweeping down below my patio. Not the most pleasant alarm clock, but it got the job done. But now, the traffic’s roar has been replaced. No longer faced with the task of rousing me from my sometimes sweet slumber, the rush of car and truck, motorcycle and bus, ambulances and vehicles with engines purring with precision or limping along on their last leg with determined drivers hoping only to get to point B from point A, and back home again to drive another day. They all make way for an even greater force; a tiny juggernaut producing sounds from which even Lazarus himself would be coerced to rise, the cries of a newborn infant.
Nzingah is her name, and from her mighty lungs resound sounds that put airplanes to shame. Echoing the fiery passions that gave her ancestral predecessor her claim to fame. For when she really gets going, there are no soft words to soother her, no tender touches to put her heart at ease; no, the only thing that will earn her temporary silence is to calm her concerns and meet her needs; which usually means it’s time to feed.
So dutifully I awaken, but strangely with no sense of annoyance. No wishing that I had chosen an apartment in a side of the building not 11 floors above a four-lane highway. No, in my dreamy, drowsy eyes there lies a sense of pride. Knowing that those cries emanate from the face that I helped to create and that looks so much like mine. And unlike the traffic below, her cries are not just a loud disturbance, not a maniacal mechanical mélange making thunderous reports aimed at rupturing whatever sense of serenity I thought the night had to offer. No, her cries are pleas from a defenseless life born into a world of uncertainty, hoping and trusting that there is someone to love her.
And though I don’t have the two tools from which to supply her food, and though my voice may seem to be ignored as I send soft promises into her ever-open ears. Still I persist with two words aimed at calming nerves, ending uncertainty, and driving out fear: “Daddy’s here.”