I’ve been told the story of my birth, my grand entrance into this world, by countless people throughout my life. You see, I was the first grandchild on both my Mom and Dad’s side. I was kind of a big deal…
My Mom never lets me forget that I was not only nine days late, count ’em, NINE! but I also put her through more than 40 hours of labor (yeah, they don’t let that happen anymore). I always tell her that: it was the dead of winter in Chicago, I knew it was cold as hell outside, why on earth would I, given a choice, decide to arrive then? I’m sure if I had had my way, I’d have stayed safe, and warm until spring sprung in 1986!
Both sets of my grandparents were in town for my arrival, as were many of my aunts and uncles. Towards the end of Day Two of labor, my Godmother had gone home to rustle up some home cooking for everyone that was sitting in the waiting room of the hospital. She made sandwich upon sandwich upon sandwich and packed everything up to bring back to the hospital.
My Dad took a break, and left my Mom with other family members, to come out and talk to everyone. He wolfed down a roast beef sandwich with mustard and cheese and made his way back to the delivery room.
My Dad sat back down next to my Mom and took her hand and said, “Ok, how are you doing? Have we gotten any closer?”
Before she could even look at my Dad she could smell the mustard on his breath. The roast beef. The cheese.
My Mom had been pushing and pushing and breathing and breathing and existing solely on juice and ice chips for two days.
She looked him dead in the eye and said, “GET OUT.”
He couldn’t understand what he’d done wrong until she let loose with a flurry of profanity and insults directed squarely at my Father. She was hell-bent on pointing out my Father’s fault in this entire “baby situation”. After all, it was technically his fault, right? And how dare he come into the delivery room smelling of food, when there hadn’t been any semblance of solid food in her system for days now. Unless he could be more sensitive and respectful of the position he’d put my Mother in, he could just LEAVE!
He left, alright.
He washed his face, and he brushed his teeth and took a look in the mirror.
When he came back in, he brought another cup of ice chips, and a new attitude because: She had a point…