The other day, it was my birthday.
Two years ago, the same dude tattooed my left forearm with a blue bird, a poppy, a banner that says George. My baby -- the first one -- was nine months old; I put on a flowered and pheasant-feathered headpiece, got drunk and walked across the street to get my indelible birthday present: a little bird for Woody Guthrie's tune by the same name, for the bluebird of happiness, for the blue of George's eyes. The poppy for the ones that line California's highways in the summer, growing wild, blanketing the way to Disneyland like a yellow brick road beside the real, wide, gray one. Things I love, that I love to share with him, that I look forward to sharing with him in the future (should Southern California be spared from its imminent ocean-falling-in). He learned to spell his name from that tattoo, can recite "G-E-O-R-G-E George" while pointing to the corresponding letters on my skin.
Since Zelda was born, I've known what hers would be. My round little same, looking so familiar, so like my own baby photos minus the cleft chin and plus a reddish tint to her hair. She is fat and happy, most of the time, with other dimensions peeking out from behind the good humor: determination; ambition; particularity. Even if she grows out of the resemblance to her mother, I can tell her that once, she looked like I had once looked. Maybe she'll like that.
The marigold-spangled dress, the doll's blue eyes: those are easy. That Goldie came with eyes just like George's, just like mine. The colors match her brother's and together they make a nice pair, on my arms, in my arms, in general.
We came home and had cupcakes.
It was a good day.