“Would you like to hold him? asked Ari. He held the baby out to Marisol.
Marisol shook her head. “I’m not ready,” she said with a weak smile. “It just feels like – like he’s your baby, and not mine.” Ari was disappointed. There was still a lot of tension between the two of them, he knew, but somehow, he had hoped that once Marisol saw the baby, she would bond to him right away, and the three of them would become an instant family.
But Marisol refused to touch the baby, let alone hold him. She signed the custody paperwork and fixed up the nursery, but she kept her distance.
“Here’s an idea,” said Ari. “Maybe if you give him a name, then you will feel like he’s your baby, too.” He cringed the moment he said this, remembering the dog. But if it meant that Marisol would accept the baby – and maybe forgive him, too, then yes, he could even put up with a name like Fred.
“I don’t know…” Marisol frowned. But still, Ari began to catch her sneaking into the baby’s room, looking down at him lying in his crib, and murmuring names. And then, Ari awoke one night to the sound of laughter coming from the baby’s room. He got up to investigate, and to his surprise, Marisol was holding the baby, talking to him, and laughing.
“Guess it’s just you and me, Fred,” he told the dog. Still, it was wonderful to see Marisol so happy again. And one night, she finally agreed to let him come back to bed, too. It was just a small gesture, as their relationship was still very strained. But a mutual love for raising little John Tyler was bringing them back together.