Emma spent the night and eased Anya’s concerns about baby care and breast-feeding. If she thought Anya seemed less than experienced, she voiced no concerns. “Don’t worry. It’ll all come back to you. After you’ve had six or seven, you’ll be nursing one, luggin’ one on your hip, an’ swattin’ one out of trouble without turning a hair. You sure birthed this one easy. You don’t look like you got child-bearin’ hips, but she didn’t give you a bit of trouble. I got a lot wider hips than you, but when I had my Marthy………..” Anya enjoyed the tenor of her friend’s conversation, but was lost in admiration for the tiny baby. Her ears perked up when Emma moved on to a discussion of the baby’s size. “I do believe that’s the smallest, healthy baby I ever seen. My Melvin would’a made two of her, but he was a big ol’ lunker. I swear, this baby could sleep in a shoe box.!”
Joe looked alarmed. “But she’s big enough, ain’t she? I’m a big feller, but my ma never weighed ninety pounds and she could’a whooped a bear.”
“No, Joe. She’s breathin’ fine, her color’s good, and she’s nursing like there ain’t no tomorrow. This baby’s just little, not puny.” Emma laughed at his concerns.
Anya acted huffy. “Now don’t go making my baby out to be too little. Give her time and she’ll set you straight. I ain’t never been big as nothin’ but I can take care of you two if you keep picking on my baby.” She smiled and nuzzled its sweetness.
Emma laughed and Joe looked alarmed. “I ain’t talkin’ against the baby. I just got worried when Emma said she was too little.”
Emma threw a towel at him. “I ain’t never said nothin’ was wrong with being little. I was just saying she’s smaller than them buffaloes I birthed. I think that was right smart of Anya to cook up a little one.” They all got a good laugh out of that. “I do believe I’d keep her away from other folks till she catches up a little so she don’t catch something. What do y’all reckon on naming this big ol’ gal?”
Anya looked to Joe. He thought long before speaking, “Well, if you ain’t opposed, Anya. I’d like to name her after two of the finest women I ever knowed, Rose for my mama and Anya for you.”
Anya looked at him with love. “I’d be right proud to call her that.”