“Oh, look!” I squawked (kreischen) enthusiastically. “Isn’t he cute? Look how tiny he is! And he has funny eyes like yours, Jonas!”
My cheeky gaze hit my brother who noticed my comment with funny facial expressions. Because dad has not overheard my exclamation, Jonas expected unsuccessfully his reprimand (Rüge). But it was true. I have not seen many people with his light eyes. Sometimes I was a bit jealous because of it, but to be jealous was against the rules and Jonas passed his life in the harder way ‘cause of his special look. It was not good to be special in any way.
While going into our house, again to annoy my brother, I glanced back and said mockingly (spöttisch): “Maybe he had the same Birthmother as you…”
Unfortunately he shrugged and ignored me. I knew that speaking this way was not allowed, you have to be polite. But I also knew I had the ‘child-bonus’ and Jonas would not report me as I was a family member.
Sure, the Elders did not need a report, but it was not a strong violation of the rules. Maybe I would apologize in the evening to calm the Elders.
I bent over Gabriel. He looked quite nice and really peaceful. I was not able to imagine him being not able to sleep at night so that anyone had the idea to release him. Although I really agree how special Gabriel was.
“What’s his comfort object called?” I asked interested and investigated the stuffed creature which looked really crazy. Sometimes I asked myself who had this mad fantasy to design something like that and my own comfort object.
“Hippo” Dad answered and smiled. I had to laugh, too.
“Hippo” I repeated and gave the ‘Hippo’ amused back to Gabriel. He had awoken now.
“I think newchildren are so cute!” I told my family. “I hope I get assigned to be a Birthmother,”
But my mum replied very quickly (and her voice was strong): “Lily! Don’t say that. There’s very little honor in that Assignment!”
Pig-headed (trotzig) I told her about the Ten Natasha who lived around the corner in our neighborhood. “She does some of her volunteer hours at the Birthing Center. And she told me that the Birthmothers get wonderful food, and they have very gentle exercise periods, and most of the time they just play games and amuse themselves while they’re waiting.” In all my conviction I added: “I think I’d like that.”
Again my mum answered quickly. She seamed to be as resolute as I was. “Three years, three births, and that’s all. After that they are Laborers for the rest of their adult lives, until the day that they enter the House of the Old. Is that what you want, Lily? Three lazy years and then hard physical labor until you are old?” I have never taken note of this point and said giving up: “Well, no, I guess not.”
Then dad also interfered (einmischen) although he seamed to be busy with Gabriel. “Anyway, Lilly-Billy, the Birthmothers never even get to see newchildren. If you enjoy the little ones so much, you should hope for an Assignment as Nurturer.”
Additionally mum proposed: “When you’re an Eight and start your volunteer hours, you can try some at the Nurturing Center.”
I wanted to roll my eyes, but this day many times I was so impolite that I suppressed this feeling. They have already convinced (überzeugt), but nevertheless they did not stop talking.
“Yes, I think I will” I agreed. And to change the subject I added: “What did you say his name is? Gabriel? Hello, Gabriel!” I bent over the child basket and saw that the cute baby has closed his eyes and slept peacefully.
“Ooops,” I whispered amused. “I think he’s asleep. I guess I’d better be quiet.”
Now I was able to be sure that no one would still talk about Birthmothers’ labor and the Nurturing Center, and to watch Gabriel dreaming in a sweet way was busying me completely.
The dialogue is completely copied by the book "The Giver" and not owned by me, just used for the idea to change the view from Jonas' narrative to Lily's. :)