She's a Fox, Alright

* * *

Joe Fox was half asleep when they came out and told him the news. He was drifting away in the dim light of the waiting room, sinking into an old chair while some little boy banged him on the head with a cardboard brick. He was exhausted and wanted to go home and watch a movie with his wife, Kathleen.

And then the doctor, a small, pale man with a toothy smile, walked into the waiting room and announced, "Is the husband of Kathleen Fox present?"

Joe lifted his head. "That would be me, sir."

The doctor sauntered over to Joe, smile deepening with each step.

"I've got some good news, Mr. Fox," he said.

Joe stood up. "Yes?"

The doctor patted his shoulder. "Congratulations! It's a girl!"

Joe's heart skipped a beat and his lips curled into a broad smile. It was a girl. He had a daughter. He and Kathleen were the parents of a newborn little girl.

"Can I see her?" he asked the doctor.

"Of course!" he replied. He began walking into the delivery room. "Follow me, dad."

Joe did as he was told. His smile grew with each millisecond. He was about to meet the little person he had waited to meet for nine months. He remembered the day Kathleen had told him the good news. They were having dinner at the café where they had supposedly "met" each other as online buddies – without knowing, of course – to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. Kathleen had sat down at the table with an exuberant smile on her face and slid her husband her favorite book, "Pride and Prejudice" with a little note inside that said, "I'M PREGNANT".

Now Joe Fox was walking into the bright delivery room were his new daughter had just been born, and he could barely contain his excitement. He saw Kathleen in the hospital bed, cradling the infant in her arms. The baby was donning the traditional white blanket and pink cap. Her eyes were closed and her little tiny fingers reached out and wrapped around her mother's. She cooed softly.

Joe melted inside. He never knew you could experience love at first sight, but you could.

"Why, hello," said Kathleen softly to her husband. She gave him a big smile. 'You want to join us over here?"

Joe smiled back at her. "Of course," he said, walking towards them. He sat down on the side of the bed and looked dreamily at the baby, his very own daughter. She was so small but she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

"Wow," he whispered to himself.

"I know," said Kathleen. "She's beautiful."

Joe wiped a tear from his eye. "She's a Fox, alright."

Kathleen laughed and held the baby up to him.

"Hey, sweetie," she whispered to the cooing infant. "This is your daddy. He's the only person in the world good enough to be your daddy."

Joe was overwhelmed. He reached out his pointer finger, which was the length of the little girl's face, and caressed her cheek.

Suddenly, her eyes burst open. They were a blue-gray, the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen. His heart melted.

"Hold her," Kathleen commanded.

Joe took her carefully in his arms without hesitation. He had held Matt and Annabelle when they were born, but nothing could compare to this. He took his daughter in his hands and rocked her back and forth gently, staring into her eyes.

"We have to pick out a name," whispered Kathleen as she rubbed the baby's head.

Joe didn't look up. "What do you like?"

"I've always liked the name Amara," Kathleen replied after a moment of thought. "I read it in a book once. She wasn't a main character, but they mentioned this ballet dancer named Amara, and I just loved it."

"Well, it's perfect then," said Joe, looking up at his wife. "You and your mother used to twirl, so naming her after a ballet dancer would be just right." He looked back down into her eyes. "And she looks like an Amara."

"Amara Susan," Kathleen added, "after my mother."

Joe smiled up at his wife. "Amara Susan Fox." He looked yet again into the baby's eyes. "Perfect."

As good as things were before Amara's birth, after it, they only got better. The three Foxes always took walks in Riverside Park, not usually covering the whole thing in one day, but they always passed 90th street. When she was a few months old, little Amara sat in her stroller and held Brinkley's collar. She giggled and smiled nonstop.

Kathleen now did not think Baby Gap depressing, considering she was a frequent customer. She went at least once a week while Joe was at work, and all the employees there loved Amara. One day one of them told Kathleen that they had looked it up in a baby book, and Amara Susan meant "eternal lily." Kathleen loved it, though her favorite flower remained daisies.

Fox & Sons Books remained well in business, but Joe was still sad about closing down The Shop Around the Corner, especially since Amara's birth, knowing that Kathleen had always wanted to leave the store to her daughter. He decided to surprise his wife on their daughter's six month birthday by bringing them to Fox & Sons Books and showing them the new expanded children's section, called "The Shop Around the Corner."

"It's not what you had intended," Joe had said that day, "but I did my best."

Kathleen had to hold back tears. "This better than I intended," she sobbed as she gave him a big hug.

Later that month, Kathleen's first children's book, "Eternal Lily," the story of a princess named Lily living in a magical kingdom called Manhattan, was published and was an international success.

So Joe, Kathleen, Amara, and Brinkley Fox were a truly happy family. They had New York in the spring (and all the others months), books, and best of all, each other.

THE END