Sunday, April 06, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Forty years ago I gave birth to my first son... How could that be? In my imagination I'm only a little over forty myself. (This birthday might be more traumatic for me than for him.)

He was born back in the dark ages in a small hospital in New Hampshire, where they tied the laboring woman to the bed rails and left her alone in a state called "twilight" sleep... which meant you weren't exactly asleep, but were dozing... until the next contraction hit like a train wreck. Then you were wide awake in a bewildering state of unexpected agony. Lovely way to enter the world... with your mommy screaming for somebody to do something! So they gassed me out. Last thing I remember was that mask and heavy hands holding me down. Fast forward a few hours later and I'm all alone in a strange bed, tucked in so tight I can barely move; there's a strip of bandage across my abdomen and I hurt all over. "Oh my God! I had a cesarean!" I thought. But no, it was just their way of doing things.

Finally a nurse walked by, and when I asked, she assured me I had, in fact, had a baby... a baby boy!

He turned out to be a screamer, a dreamer, a brilliant little smart guy who is, (along with his little brother) the love of my life. His wife says he doesn't want a fuss over his fortieth birthday. What!?! Could it be they switched my child in the nursery? No fuss?

But dear child, you are FORTY. It's a landmark year... you are officially over the hill. Now you can finally complain about your aches and pains for real. Bring out the black balloons, the black arm bands, the cop-turned-stripper, the surprise party and the cake with so many candles, that by the time you've lit the last one, the first has burned down to the frosting. And don't forget the fire extinguisher!

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