I like to daydream. Always have. At any given moment I can slip into blank space thinking about nothing or whatever random thoughts drift through my mind. Sometimes I’m pondering the plausibility of movies(‘Commando’ and Rae Dawn Chong with a bazooka? Eh, why not?), sometimes I’m lost in a void, like Sarah Palin in a Catie Couric interview and other times I’m trying to rationalize my place in this world. Daydreaming is like the sleep mode on your computer. Every once and a while you need to logoff and take a break(the real world, just like your Mafia Wars game, will be waiting for you when you finally snap out of it) and daydreaming can do that.
Occasionally, while I’m lost in a daydream(and my wife is trying to get my attention to do something menial around the house) I relive specific moments in my life.
None so visceral as July 19th and July 23rd. I get to “see” my daughters being born again. Lost in a reverie of contractions, sonograms, and cord cutting every July.
Let it be noted for the record, none of it would have been possible without my wife and thanks to her, I get to be at day one with my girls.
So I kick back and begin to daydream…probably during an episode of Jon and Kate that Alicia has to watch.
Hannah came to us on July 23rd, 2002, during a Dust Bowl like drought and after 9 tumultuous months of pregnancy. Alicia began with three months of morning sickness I could only describe as if she put back a dozen “Jaeger Bombs” everynight. Ninety days of morning sickness that could put a fraternity brother to shame and on day ninety one, her hormones shut it off. The relief was short lived. Besides the cravings(let me just say I am sure I helped push the Exeter Taco Bell past their monthly quotas), our unknown(at the time) fetus kicked Alicia hard enough to bruise her stomach muscle. As if a compressed bladder, swollen feet and sore back were not enough, now she was in constant pain from her stomach. By the time Hannah was fully cooked, Alicia had three stints in the hospital(the last one coming from a false alarm we thought was her water breaking during the movie ‘Training Day’). Three pushes into labor, our OBGYN discovered the anistiesiologist had forgotten to turn on the medicine for the spike he lodged into my wife’s spine to relieve some of the pain. So my wife, cursing, breathing, and Au natural pushed until thirty minutes later Hannah was born(and during those thirty minutes it poured for the first time in weeks).
Emma came with much less fanfare on July 19th, 2005(and yet today, she causes much more fanfare than her sister. And by fanfare I mean she’s like Erik the Red. Pillaging areas of our house and moving on to her next conquest). The “Jaeger Bomb” morning sickness came and spent ninety days then made it’s 2nd trimester exit. Dairy Queen cravings came next(yet another franchise I helped push past quotas). Emma’s pregnancy was punctuated by our last visit to Dr. Ferry. After Alicia’s examination, he had called us back into his office to explain in a very calm and stoic tone of how Alicia was in active labor. Much to my chagrin he dismissed my suggestion of getting some hot water and instead directed us to the hospital. Not quite Hugh Grant flying around San Francisco in ‘9 Months’ but certainly not ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ we hastily made our way to St. Joseph’s. I parked our VW and when I opened the door I heard a hissing noise. I’m no herpetologist but I am sure there are no snakes indigenous to 12th Street in Reading which meant my tire was going flat. I ignored that(knowing full well Alicia would have been no help holding the lug nuts and caps) and got her into the maternity ward. A few hours later and again Au natural(Her thought? Why have a needle the size of a tent spike jammed into your spine again when Alicia knew what it was like to give birth without drugs? My thought? I’ll take the spike please.) Alicia gave birth to our Emma after 40 minutes of pushing(and more vulgarity aimed at my person).
That was 7 and 4 years ago respectively. And each and every year since those times I find myself daydreaming back to them. I marvel at how big they have gotten. I am in awe of their personalities. I stand in utter amazement at what my wife was able to do. I remind my wife of how she only pushed for a little more than an hour for both kids and how and hour is not so bad to be pushing. She reminds me I have yet to pass a watermelon for a little over an hour and I should just keep my mouth shut(she seems to have not forgotten the vulgarity she spewed at me in 2002 and 2005 while reminding me about that fact as her comment is generously sprinkled with vulgarity that could make a mechanic blush).
Alicia’s stomach is fine. I fixed the flat(it was a key…I know a key?). And every year I retell the story to my girls(I make sure to embellish just how mean their mother was to their father). And I will continue to retell it each and every year whether I tell it to my girls, to you, or just to myself while I daydream in July.
- Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for, I have grown not only gray, but almost blind in the service of my country (and bald...and cranky...and out of shape...in the service of being a parent) - George Washington
Seek and Ye Might Just Find