Saturday, January 26, 2008
At about this time nine years ago, I was being wheeled into an operating room, scared to the marrow of my bones because I was about to have surgery (while awake, OMG) and feeling like the biggest failure in the history of time because I hadn't been able to push out a baby that my doctor had blithely assured me was "seven, maybe seven and a half pounds." You can imagine my surprise when that same doctor, almost as soon as she made the cut, said, "Wow! I hope you bought plenty of three-to-six-month clothes."
Next thing I knew, a baby's cry rose over the sounds of Simon and Garfunkel on the operating-room CD player, and in my scared/dazed/drugged state, I thought Hey, there was really a baby in there! I mean, I knew there was, but I didn't KNOW there was ... And then all of a sudden I was very, very tired, so tired that I could hardly keep my eyes open. In the distance, I heard someone say "10 pounds," and then P was standing right next to me, holding G so I could see her. She had on a little stocking hat and a lot of blankets, and she was staring very quietly and intently at me with her big, dark eyes, as if she could look right into my soul.
Nine years later, that 10-pound baby is approaching five feet tall and wears nearly the same size shoe I do. She still has her father's big, dark eyes, as well as his all-consuming curiosity, his sense of humor, his stubbornness, his temper, and his amazing ability to love. I wish more than anything that he were here to see how smart and capable and mature she's becoming, and it kills me that he'll never know how much of what he taught her in their time together has stayed in her heart.
Happy birthday, G. Your dad and I both love you to the moon and back again, to the bottom of the ocean and the ends of the earth, and all the way across the sky.