She hums softly and it’s as simple as that. It’s as simple as an unnamed melody, improvised for this unnamed infant. She could tell you the speed at which the vocal folds move to produce a specific pitch, or how much air pressure is necessary to create a specific sound, but in this moment, she can think of nothing but the four-day-old life cradled in her arms.
He is his mother’s son, sharp features and a full head of dark hair, but in these quiet hours when Jane is away, she finds herself whispering, “You are mine too.” Because sometimes she feels uncertainty creep into her heart, because there wasn’t always a Rizzoli in her name. Sometimes she is afraid of being the only Isles, sometimes she is afraid of being left behind.
“You’re not the only Isles.”
Maura’s head snaps up and she realizes they’re not alone anymore. She realizes she’s spoken aloud. “Jane, I didn’t realize you--”
“You’re not the only Isles,” Jane is leaning against the doorframe, a brown paper bag in one hand. Her tone is casual, as if she’s asking Maura to pick up toilet paper on the way home from work. “He’s as much of you as he is of me.”
“I look at him and I see you,” Maura whispers, brushing a finger against his cheek. Even when she can be so sure about this, about them, she still doubts. “I look at him and I wonder what he’ll see in me.”
“He’ll see his mother,” she sets the paper bag down on the nightstand and Maura can smell garlic and peppers and warmth. “And he’ll see love and safety and you.”
“I love him.”
Jane smiles because she knows, she never had a doubt. Maura’s voice holds the ferocity of a lioness and she cradles their son even closer. “You feel it, don’t you?” She carefully crawls up next to Maura, they look so peaceful.
“I don’t have to think, I just do. I can’t think, it just happens. He was crying and I’ve never sung a note in my life, but...” she trails off, lost in the wonder of this tiny bundle of human.
“You’re not your parents.” Jane reaches out to tug his little knitted hat down further. “You’re not Paddy and you’re not Constance. There’s nothing in you that would make him turn away from you. Nothing.”
“He needs a name, Jane,” Maura’s eyes are glassy and Jane knows the conversation isn’t over, but Maura’s had enough.
“Ma keeps suggesting Angelo,” Jane rolls her eyes. “Angelo Rizzoli-Isles, he’s a baby boy, not a saint.”
Maura can’t help her chuckle and Baby Rizzoli-Isles curls closer in his sleep. “I always did like Benoît.”
“Maura, he’s a person, not a pastry,” Jane flops down onto her side of the bed.
“You’re thinking of beignets, Jane.”
“Nothing seems right,” she shakes her head, her hands clasped together on her stomach. “We barely know him, and we’re supposed to give him a name? The most permanent thing we’ll ever give him. What if he turns six and we realize his name is entirely wrong?”
“Then we wait,” Maura shrugs, gently laying the infant between them on the bed. “When it’s right, we’ll know. You know,” she pauses. “The responsibility of choosing his name seems almost greater than the responsibility of caring for him and protecting him. Wanting to provide for him is nature. The moment I knew he was inside me, everything changed without my infliction. But choosing his name...” She shakes her head, reaching for the bag on the nightstand.
“See?” Jane turns her head to look up at her wife. “You give him everything he needs without realizing you’re even doing it.”
Maura sits with this for a moment and she looks down at their sleeping son. “Aidan. It means little fire. Originated from the Gaelic Aodhán, the pet form of Aodh... Aodh was the name of the sun god.”
“Little fire, I like it. Although little child with large lungs seems more appropriate.”
“Your mother says your temperament at four days was somewhat similar,” Maura teases, finally reaching into the takeout bag. “I am inclined to believe her.”
“Aidan. What about Aidan Isaac?”
Maura settles in against the headboard, takeout container resting in her lap. “Isaac. Hebrew --”
“He will laugh,” Jane finishes. “I read the books too.”
“And you remembered that one?” Maura pauses, fork halfway to her lips.
Jane shrugs, twiddling her thumbs for a fraction of a second. “I liked it. I want a kid who laughs, joyful gut-busting laughs.”
Maura nods, chewing thoughtfully as the baby begins to stir. “He’ll be happy.”
“And we’ll love him,” Maura drops the fork back into the plastic takeout container, turning to look at her wife.
“And we’ll love him. No matter what.”
Maura nods, setting her food aside, and she watches as Jane gently lifts their son into her arms. She holds him as if she was never meant do do anything else, as if he is the thing that makes her completely and entirely whole, and Maura’s uncertainty clutches at her heart again, but the smile Jane gives her is so brilliant and pure that it is gone just as quickly as it came.
“Rizzoli-Isles,” Jane finishes. She leans across the open space between them to capture Maura’s lips with her own. “Thank you. For not naming him after French fried dough.”
“And thank you, for allowing me to educate you on the difference between Benoît and beignets.”
Confusion flashes across Jane’s face before she understands. “Oh. Oh. Oh, no. I am only okay with this French lesson if it ends with fried dough. In my stomach.”
“Jane,” Maura scolds. “I just carried and birthed your child, I do believe if anyone deserves a serving of deep-fried pâte à choux, it’s me.”
“Okay, okay. What do you say we settle for a good old fashioned cannoli and leave the deep fried pita shoes for a later date.”
“Pâte à choux, Jane,” Maura shakes her head.
“What do you think, Aidan?” Jane looks down at the baby in her arms. His eyes open and she knows, as she looks down into chocolate brown eyes that match her own, she will never tire of this. “I think you’ll be speaking French by the time you’re four.”
“Greek too, if we’re lucky,” Maura pipes up.
“Hey, take it easy, Mommy. I’m just four days old. Hey, he looks kind of angry,” Jane’s brow furrows as she takes in the agitated face against her chest.
“It’s probably just gas.”
“Oh, gross. Can we not?” Jane squirms, upsetting Aidan in the process. “Oh, no. No, no, I don’t think you’re gross, bud. No, just the... the gas.”
“Oh, Jane. It’s not nearly as bad now as it will be once he hits puberty.”
“No. No.” Jane squeezes her eyes shut as she rocks Aidan gently in her arms. “I do not want to think about that. I can’t think about that.”
“We’ll discuss that over beignets, I’m sure.” Maura points to their now-wailing son. “But I do believe it’s your turn to change him.”
“Alright, alright,” Jane gives a dramatic sigh before she’s up and heading across the hall.
Maura can hear Jane cooing, and once the baby quiets again, she can hear his gurgles. She’s somebody’s mother, somebody’s wife, and sometimes she feels so full and dizzy from it all that she can’t breathe.
“You’re going to speak Greek, and French. And Italian if your Nona has anything to say about it.” Jane appears in the doorway again, a bundle of blue in her arms, and Maura’s heart stops. She is devastatingly beautiful, wild hair and lithe frame, but she’s gentle. So gentle. “And you’ll play soccer and you’ll be a Sox fan through and through. Because you’re a Rizzoli-Isles. And we won’t have it any other way. Unless... Unless you don’t like any of those things, and that’s okay too. Because you’re ours and we’re yours, that’s how family works, bud. Right, Maur?”
Maura realizes she’s crying when she’s too choked up to speak, so she nods furiously instead. She nods furiously and reaches her arms out for her family. Jane’s there in an instant and her forehead is pressed to Maura’s. One arm holds Aidan between them, and the other is pressed tight to the back of Maura’s neck. “That’s how family works,” Maura repeats, one of her hands curling around Jane’s bicep. “I still get scared.”
“I’m afraid he won’t need me. That you won’t need me. But, I look at you... and I look at you with him. And I know. I know exactly who I am. I know exactly where I fit.”
“That’s how family works,” Jane says again, pulling Maura to her side. “We fit.”