Blue-Eyed Wonder

Let the tongues wag-this baby is mine

| Utne Reader January / February 2007

It started even before she was born. My husband speculated that our baby would have the dark brown skin of my African father. I imagined she would be the female version of our 8-year-old son with eternally tan, glowing skin, light golden brown eyes, and straight hair that is just shy of being called black.

When Olivia arrived, her rosy cheeks and blue eyes didn't really surprise me. Black newborns often have blue eyes and pink skin, I thought.

The postpartum nurse innocently asked if her skin would darken. My mind was clouded by sleep exhaustion and I imagined waking up one morning to find a chocolate-colored baby nursing hungrily from my breast.

'I don't know,' I answered.

We brought our baby home from the hospital on a cold autumn morning, tightly swaddled in a blanket.

'Will her eyes change?' asked our neighbor as he peered into the bundle.