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“What will he be?” My mother-in-law’s question on the banks of the Hillsborough River was shrouded in innocence like the Spanish moss hanging from the cypress trees. The eight-week ultrasound had shown a healthily developing fetus, rapid poomp-poomp poomp-poomp poomp-poomp heartbeat strong, but no clear gender in the black and white mass. Still, we’d conceived this second child on our first try and the morning sickness was much worse than with our daughter, apocryphal signs I interpreted to indicate male.
“A boy,” I said to my mother-in-law. Her son and I were visiting from Brooklyn. Every now and then my brother-in-law pointed out another flat snout floating in the tar-blackened water. Even when the gators swam right in front of me, I never saw them on my own.
“But what will he be?” she asked again and this time I discerned the emphasis. “You’re from Trinidad and Grey (my husband) is white so will he be African-American or something else?”