Tonight I went out with a friend to enjoy the opening night of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. At the pre-movie reception, I saw many acquaintances, friends and colleagues from my volunteer, and professional lives. I bumped into two people, however, whom I’ve known yet haven’t seen for years; two woman — each who has a daughter — who were all in a play-group with my infant son and me many, many years ago.
The chance encounter brought back wonderful reminiscing. We fondly talked about the birthday parties, holiday celebrations, and other events we all had shared. We also caught up on what the “kids” are doing today. We promised to be in touch soon to plan a reunion for the eight “moms” who were part of our play-group so long ago.
I marveled over the coincidence of meeting Lynn and Lori tonight. Tonight of all nights…
* * *
It was 1989. It was January 26. It was at my weekly check-up that my obstetrician finally agreed to induce labor. I was a full two weeks after my due date. “Go to the hospital at two o’clock and we’ll start a Pitocin drip,” he said. “That should get this baby moving.” I knew I was having a boy and it was clear that he was going to be a big baby; being overdue had taken a toll on my lower back, legs, and patience. I was carrying so low that sitting comfortably was impossible. Like most women who reach this stage, I was sick of being pregnant. I was eager to become a mommy.
I rushed home and excitedly called my husband at his office to tell him the news. We were just a few hours away from giving birth to our first child! “Honey,” my husband said, “today is a really busy day. I’m heading into a lunch meeting. Does waiting one more day really matter? Can the doctor just induce tomorrow?”
Huh?!?!? I honestly don’t remember the details of the rant that ensued. I’m sure I cursed and yelled. I think I even screamed something about having and raising the child alone. Regardless, my husband sheepishly walked into the house an hour later carrying a bag from Burger King and shrugged at me. I rolled my eyes and headed for the car. I drove while he sat and ate in the passenger seat.
* * *
The delivery was tough. While the Pitocin made “natural” childbirth impossible, the epidural was a godsend. It eliminated the agony and even calmed the nerves that came with learning I might need an emergency C-section. Fortunately, the entire process only ended up being about ten hours and everything turned out alright.
At 00:27 on January 27 — when I was 27 years old — my firstborn came into the world. And today, he is now 27. So, as you can imagine, with all the 27s in the air — and running into old friends who where there at the beginning — I simply had to write this piece.
Happy birthday, Sweetheart. My, how time flies…Once upon a time, I was your first love. My hands held you first…firmly, tightly, never letting you fall. You opened your eyes and saw only me. My kisses playfully pelted your face and also had the power to cure boo-boos.
It’s my dimple you wear on your cheek. So, when you look in the mirror and see it there, remember I’m always with you.