My current work in progress is an unplanned pregnancy book (tentatively scheduled for March 09) and this week I've been thinking about my hero, an alpha of the cool, controlled, emotionally aloof variety, and how this baby will bring him undone. I haven't written a new baby scene for years and years -- I am thinking that A Tempting Engagement (2003) may have been my last. And that wasn't the hero and heroine of that book's baby, but the couple from the previous book. Is there no more heart-squeezing scene than that of a big, tough alpha turned to goo by a tiny bundle of babydom? Don't you love that image: the contracts of size and strength, the parallel of vulnerability? Who is holding who in the palm of their hand?
I've been thinking about that and thinking about my own dad, a stoic, capable gentleman who didn't make many mistakes...except in the aftermath of new fatherhood. In those days it was the father who filed the birth details and my dad, well, he got it wrong. Several times. My elder brother and sister, both names spelled incorrectly. My youngest sister, names written down in the wrong order so her middle name became her first.
And then there's me.
By the time I reached age 17 there'd been a deal of ribbing over my father and the not-quite-right names. I thought I'd gotten off scot free. Even though my name is the most difficult of the five, Dad spelled it correctly. Then I applied for my birth certificate and discovered I'd been registered with the wrong birth date. A simple mistake, we laughed a lot, but it's been causing me grief ever since. By that time I'd already used my real birth date for some documentation (e.g. my bank and school) while everything official such as my driving licence and passport required the date on my birth certificate.
Every so often I get caught out answering the questions to verify my identity. "Birth date," says the impersonal voice on the end of the phone. And I automatically give my real birth date, then comes the stumbling explanation, the dubious silence, and another six or ten questions because they didn't quite believe me.
My father, being male, never owned any of these mistakes. "The clerk must have written it down wrong," he would say. I blame the enormity of the new baby experience--an alpha with all control taken out of his hands--and how that combination turns the most capable, careful man to quivering ineptitude. I love it; how about you? Do you love a good alpha + baby storyline? Have you read one lately you can recommend, because after writing this post I find I am quite in the mood.