Saturday, April 18, 2015
Sixteen Days Late
April 2nd most years I can anticipate a call, a text, some form of communication from my mother. She reminds me that I was supposed to be born on April 2nd 1981. I didn't choose April 2nd for my arrival. My mother, nine months pregnant and living on an isolated farm in northern Montana could do nothing but wait. She waited, knowing that snow would come that month. I am sure she worried about making it to the hospital that was about an hour away in Havre. I am sure she daydreamed about motherhood and the life she imagined for her just beginning family. I know that she was pretty sure that she was having a boy. Everyone told her that she was carrying a big old baby boy, but that was still more than a few years off.
She waited for 16 days something that no doctor now would allow, there certainly would have been an induction for a baby that simply refused to leave the comfort of the womb, but not then. Back in 1981 in rural Montana my parents waited and dreamed and went about business as usual, farming and sitting on pins and needles. Every twinge could signal the impending birth that surely colored every moment of those days. I am sure that they were thinking about how their lives would change, how a baby would change their relationship. I am sure they were worried about sleep and all of the other stuff that waiting parents ponder, driving themselves mad with possibilities.
Then, on April 18th I decided it was time to make my entrance. My mother and father got into their car and drove to Havre, a small town that seemed like a metropolis in comparison with their nearest town of Turner. My parents will tell me later today about how they waited as a train passed before they could get to town. My mom will remind me about how my dad talked to some kid who was also waiting to pass. I will hear stories about puking and pop and pancakes. I will hear about how my dad wasn't in the delivery room, because it was a different time. I will hear the story of my birth. I need those stories. I cherish those stories.
I arrived and I was a giant baby, to be sure, basically I was half grown. I was a giant baby with acne that has lasted for 34 years. I don't think my parents cared much, because I was finally there and I was theirs. I was not a boy, but that was really just dumb luck on their part---I kid.
I was taken home to the farm after the obligatory hospital stay. On their way home they stopped at a restaurant in Hogeland (I believe) where a waitress took me, newly born, into the back to show off to staff. My mother nervously waiting my return, but too polite to demand my return from an obviously well-meaning soul. They took me home and I am certain that a parade of friends and family teased them about how it was about time. I am sure that my grandmothers held me, aunts, second cousins, family friends. I was home and I was loved.
I was also endured, as I hear tell that I was more than a little intense (side note: I still hear this is true). I was home, sixteen days later than planned. I was born 34 years ago today to the most loving parents and for that I am thankful. I was given the best birthday gift ever, and since it is my birthday I can get away with this sappiness, I was given my family and every goodness that has come into my life stems from that very first gift.