It’s a story everyone wants to hear. The story about the day they came into the world. Like my mother, I handed those tales down to my children with great regularity. I brought out the stories on long rides when the road was whizzing by. I molded them into bedtime yarns. I dusted them off and gave them new luster on request. But, I especially brought them out when they had a definite news peg – birthdays – like today.
It was February 28, 1994. It was just before one in the morning. I felt the stirrings and then the pain I easily recognized as labor. We called Jim’s dad who rushed over. We left him with our sleeping two-year-old, Katie. Jim put on his would-be paramedic look and rushed out to the car. I waddled after him. Once again, he flipped on his imaginary lights and siren and we were off, racing to the hospital, while I writhed in pain.
This was old hat by now. On each side of a contraction, I managed to tell the nurse my name and that I was in labor and that I would be having an epidural just as soon as she could line one up. And in fact, I said, if she had something for the pain right now, while she worked on the epidural, that would be good too. She looked at me and said, “Honey, let’s just make sure you ARE in labor.”
It was a raucous, tumultuous couple of hours. It turns out I WAS in labor. And the baby was in such a rush the doctor almost didn’t make it. The nurse, a male, from Wales told us he would be delivering this one. I could see the exhilaration on his face. I wasn’t sure. And then, just in the nick of time, the doctor walked in to catch our little bundle of joy. He looked up at us and said, “A girl.” And she let out a wail. It was quite an entrance. It was just after three in the morning. The nurse handed Jim our swaddled infant and he took her to the window and showed her the stars in the Santa Monica sky. He sat there like that for hours – holding her. We had decided to wait until dawn before telling anyone that Margaret Mary Huntington had entered the world.
It was the best secret we’ve ever kept.
Now… twenty-three years later… that baby who pushed her way into our lives in record time still sets the pace for all of us. With her beautiful, ferocious energy, she continues to careen into every entrance she makes.
Happy Birthday, Baby Girl…
Enthusiastic First Communicant