Son, you outgrew my lap, but never my heart. ~Author Unknown
The blizzard hit Longmont, Colorado on October 25, 1997, three days before my due date with my first child. I wasn't worried about being sacked in by the two feet of snow. The worst that could happen would be that Ken would have to deliver the baby in the living room. What’s a little blood and screaming and cord cutting amongst spouses?
The worst didn’t happen. Just as the snow melted into a mess of slush and leaves, my water broke at 3:00 a.m. on October 27 (Wait! That’s 13 years ago today!).
So much was different back then. I wasn’t a runner. I wasn’t a parent. We had been married for just over two years. We had moved to Longmont from Denver three months prior. I had no friends or family nearby. We lived in a tiny house in the old town section of the city, an area we chose because of it’s mature and towering trees, 1900s Victorian style homes and all-American small town vibe. All we needed was the baby, and the picture would be complete.
I was certain I was ready for Sam to arrive. Hell, while getting my MSW I’d studied child development and had read What to Expect When You’re Expecting. How hard could it really be? And labor? I’d just get the epidural at the first sign of pain, Ken would hold my hand and guide me through contractions, the angels would sing and little Sammy would pop out in all his glory.
The first “real” contraction doubled me over as the automatic doors of the hospital opened at 5:00 a.m.. I peed in a cup and a less than educated nurse told me that my urine looked awful, I might have an infection. I let her know that the cloudiness in the cup was amniotic fluid (and I don’t even have a medical degree). “Oh,” she said as she tested it with a dipstick. “You’re right. I think you’re in labor.” Kind of like I thought she was a dumbass.
Time passed and when the pain got horrific I pleaded for an epidural. Funny how a long needle in your spine seems like a walk in the park compared to the ripping apart of your uterus by contractions.
The contractions piled on and in what seemed like seconds, it was time to push. In typical SUAR style, I pushed and I crapped. Let’s do it again. I pushed and I crapped. Because of the epidural, I couldn't feel the fact that I was squirting. So, I just kept doing it, like a champ. Finally, I smelled something and asked Ken, “Did I crap?” He smiled apologetically and nodded. I then realized the nurse had been wiping me each time. Bless her soul. To erase the awkwardness I sheepishly offered, “Sorry about that. You must get used to it after awhile, huh?” She looked me in the eye and offered these words of support: “No.You don’t get used to it. Ever.” At least she was honest. I, on the other hand, felt like a shunned child.
Finally, my savoir doctor arrived just in time to suction little Sammy out of my body. 12:28 p.m. You see Sam was what they call “sunny side up,” which means face-up. Babies are supposed to be face down. Thus, the suction cause he got stuck.
Sam – the first thing I remember about you was that you were perfectly still and alert. You looked around, making eye contact immediately. You took in the world around you and seemed thrilled to be joining the party on the outside world. People say it all the time, but how is it possible to fall in love so deeply and instantaneously?
I loved you while you were on the inside, but I fell madly in love with you on the outside.
God, you were a tough baby. No sleeping for you. You cried and screamed all day, every day. I thought I would lose my mind. But, your cuteness and the surfacing of occasional smiles and belly laughs made up for the shrieking and shitting. And your head. Was there ever such a big head?:
As you grew, so did your heart and your personality (and thank God not your head). You are one of the funniest and most good natured people I have ever met. I’m honored to know you and to be your mom.
Here’s you in preschool. Remember when you took a pair of handcuffs to school and told the class that they you found them in your mom’s nightstand? (Okay, they were mine, but I had gotten them as a gag gift when I turned 30). I’ll never forget the looks the teachers gave me that day when I picked you up. That was also the year you stuck a penny in the outlet and blew up the wall.
You are such a ham. We never stop laughing and what you say or do. Yet, your compassion and sweet spirit always lies just underneath the surface. Even when it comes to your sister (who somehow had a black baby).
Today you are 13. I have seen you mature so much this year. I can count on you. I can trust you. You are flying away from me, yet you always return home with a funny story or the question, “So, how was your day today, mom?,” or a compliment, “Your new haircut makes you look like Snookie.” (Wait, is that a compliment?)
I love that:
- Your go-to comfort outfit is a robe and boxers (Hello, Hugh Heffner)
- You let me run with you when I looked like this:
- You’re not too cool to hug and kiss me
- You jumped up and down and danced around when I got into Boston
- Your favorite trip ever was going to Phoenix to watch me run my first marathon
- You can rock AC/DC on the drums
- You’re so smart you don’t know how smart you are
- You want to buy an an old RV and drive your friends around in it when you’re 16
- You have a heart of gold and the wit of Jon Stewart
- You never shy away from being the complete and total unique individual who you are.
And that is just the beginning.
I’ll love you forever, I’ll like for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.