"It's a girl!" the midwife cried, motioning the waiting servants for a blanket. Poppy sighed, her flushed, sweaty face smiling with relief. Her husband Lao stood over her, beaming with pride as he looked at the tiny, black-haired infant. The little girl's cries brought great pleasure to them both, for this was their first child. The midwife wrapped the baby in a blanket and handed her to Poppy, who gazed at her daughter's face with love. She was beautiful.

The infant's cries were quieting down, and her tiny hands wrapped tightly around her father's finger. Lao chuckled with delight at her strong grip. "With strength like this, I will not be surprised if she is a powerful earthbender some day," he whispered to Poppy. He could only imagine the potential his new daughter could reach. What a life this child had in store! And he was determined to be there every step of the way. He had bragged to his servants that he would be the best father ever, and he intended to keep that promise.

The midwife took the baby again to bathe her and make sure she was healthy. The parents were left alone to bask in their pride. "What shall we name her?" asked Lao.

"I want our daughter's name to mean something," replied Poppy, "but I don't yet know what I want it to mean."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The midwife gently bathed the infant, counting her fingers and toes and cooing to her. "Oh, yes, you're a pretty little girl, aren't you?" The midwife was pleased; the delivery was successful and without complication. She was more relieved than she allowed herself to show; her many years as a midwife had shown her that not all pregnancies ended successfully. More than one infant had died shortly after birth, and while she knew it was not her fault, it was difficult not to feel guilty. But there seemed to be no problem with this child. She was healthy, beautiful, and of course, the parents were thrilled. Nothing gave a midwife more joy than to see those three things.

The girl was lifted from the water and wrapped in a clean blanket. The middle-aged woman picked up the lightweight bundle and got ready to bring her back to her parents. "Your parents are so proud of you already. You will go far in life; I can tell."

As if she could understand, the tiny baby opened her eyes. At first, the midwife mentally kicked herself for being the only one to witness the baby opening her eyes for the first time. This was a special occasion, and the parents should be the ones to see it, not her! But as she looked again, she noticed that something was not right. Poppy and Lao both had dark brown eyes; the baby had pale green eyes. Curious, the woman looked closer and noticed that her pupils were also strangely faded. In all her years delivering babies, she had never seen eyes like this.

A sinking realization came over the woman as she decided to perform a simple test. She grabbed a small lantern sitting nearby and held it closer to the infant, close enough for her to see it, but not close enough for it to burn her. Upon exposure to the bright light, the baby should have flinched away from the brightness, but instead, she did nothing; her eyes remained wide open, unfocused and blankly staring.

The sinking realization became a full-blown horror. The baby was blind.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Author's note: This is my first ever Avatar fanfic, and if you haven't guessed yet, it's all about Toph. It's going to be multi-chapter, and I plan to include stories about how she learned to earthbend, and about her origins as the Blind Bandit. Chapter 2 coming soon. Read and review, and be nice please!