My son Colin turns 12 today. And in between making chocolate chip pancakes for his Special Birthday Breakfast, and peanut butter and jelly roll-ups for his Special Birthday Lunch and sliders for his Special Birthday Dinner, I’ll be thinking about the day my little groundhog came into the world 12 years ago.
Seven months into my pregnancy, I went into pre-term labor with Colin, sex then unknown, and spent 8 weeks on bedrest. I went down on Thanksgiving and got up on New Years. I had to call in all my post-partum favors early, as relatives and friends came to help with 2 year old Brookes. Then, the little groundhog proceeded to be two weeks late! By the time February 2nd rolled around, I was more than ready to give birth. My sister Liz, recently retired from her job at Nike and just about to begin our work on Satellite Sisters, was visiting after a two -month trip to Thailand. She was supposed to leave that day, but stuck around once I went into labor. My husband was grateful to have anybody, even Liz, in the delivery room for back-up. There were some rough hours there– but I pulled through. After literally 3 months of labor, Colin arrived at noon, healthy and sweet. The hospital was not particularly busy that week, and thanks to new legislation signed by then- President Clinton, I didn’t have to leave the hospital hours after giving birth like I did with Brookes. I stayed in my big room, the rain pounding on the windows, for it was an El Nino year here in Southern California, for a delightful 72 hours before heading home to face my very put-out toddler and life with two kids, no help and a workaholic husband.
I have fond memories of those 72 hours in the hospital.
What’s amazing to me is not that Colin is 12. Believe me, there were years where I felt every hour of every day. No, what amazing me is that so much of who Colin is was right there at the beginning. Enthusiastic, curious, observant– those were all qualities he exhibited as a baby. He needed very little sleep then ( about 9 hours a day– when most babies average 12 to 14 hours. Yes, I am still tired from the lack of sleep incurred from 1998 to 2002. ) and he’s able to stay up, reading until the book is done or I force him to turn off the light. He was an early talker and he has not stop talking since. Colin adored his big brother, despite his big brother’s indifference. The adoration continues, as does the ( faux) indifference!
One thing is certain: nobody, nobody in our family, loves their birthday more than Colin. Maybe because his first one was such a special day.
Happy Birthday, Colin.
Embracing my chaos, Lian
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