I’m working on a theory. I’m still developing it. My sample size is very small – but my theory bears out inside the sample – my little family. The theory is this: The way people come into the world is the way they live their lives. What do you think?
Let’s take my daughter Katie – sample number one. She rolled in after eight hours of steady measured labor – never letting up – organized and efficient. It’s the same way she does everything – like in high school, she’d plop on the edge of my bed with her calendar and ask if we could shop for her prom dress on the 15th or the 21st?
Sample number two – Margaret – careened into the world – out of control – in less than two hours. So – I’d learn about her prom needs when it had become an emergency – “Mom, I need a prom dress on Friday!!!”
But sample number 3 – William – neither planned or freaked. Mom – he calmly said to me once – at seven o’clock at night – “It’s mandatory that I wear a suit tomorrow. Where can we get one?” And that – according to my new theory is because of the way he came into the world nineteen years ago today. He strolled in – on Easy Street.
It was just after midnight on October 12th, 1998. That’s when the mother of all labor pains hit. I tapped my husband, Jim, who instantly assumed a first responder demeanor. He called the neighbor and – again – flipped on his imaginary lights and sirens and we were off just as another contraction hit.
What with it being my third labor – I was now super smart about the whole thing – my goal was to NOT feel any more labor pains. At the hospital, I told the nurse – “My name is Joyce Huntington and I’m in labor and I’d love an epidural as soon as you can set one up.”
“Honey,” she said – “Let’s make sure you ARE in labor.” They always say that. Then they hold out on the anesthesia. But this time I whipped out my secret weapon. “Yes, of course. And – my doctor said to call him immediately because my first two labors were vicious and fast. Really fast.”
I think it worked. The anesthesiologist was there in minutes. He was from Spain. He had an accent. In fact, I could barely understand him. But I didn’t need to. His work was universal. He did his thing which put me on a path toward the easiest labor in history – well, at least my labor history. I felt no pain. I slept – for about 6 hours – until it was time. Then the doctor strolled in. He seemed to be on Easy Street too. Since we were the last couple – just about -in America – to NOT find out the sex of the baby – he asked if we had names for both. We said we had the boy figured out but we hadn’t quite settled on a girl. “Ahh,” he said, “Well, maybe you won’t need it.”
There was some coaxing and pushing and then the doctor casually said – “A boy.” And the nurse plopped our new baby boy on a table – sitting upright while she examined him. It took a moment for me to notice he was wailing – a calm, tiny, baby infant wail – I could barely hear it. It was like he was trying NOT to get my attention. And then, I thought – I love that kid.
We made the first call. Everyone was dying to know. Boy? Girl? We called Jim’s parents’ house first – Jim bellowed, “It’s a boy!” Then a loud cheer came out of the phone. It was a raucous one – like someone had scored a touchdown or something. It wafted around the room.
And since that moment – we’ve been cheering the little guy on. But we’re especially cheering for him today – because at just after eight o’clock – California time – that little one-time would-be wailer – easily – turned nineteen years old!
Happy Birthday, The Willie – Man!
We love you Willie! Leave a message for Will here!