17 years ago today you were lying next to me in a hospital bed, all swaddled up. We called you butterscotch boy because everything about you was golden and caramel colored. Dad still calls you his golden boy, but only partly because of your complexion. Mostly because everything you touch seems to come easy for you. Good grades, math, sports, having fun, knowing what you want and not being afraid to go after it.
You know your birth story, but this year I’ve got this new thing going – you know about the blog - I haven’t really used it too much to chronicle you and your sister’s lives. But that’s what this is about today.
On the night you were born, you came into this world with the same speed and lack of fear of the unknown that you possess to this day. It was Friday, June 19th, and your father was working. I had been on maternity leave for two weeks and was enjoying being off my feet and eating my way through the house. I had just called your dad at work and asked him to stop by the store on the way home. On this night I asked for sour cream and onion potato chips and clam dip. While I waited for him to bring my snacks I got ready to watch a TV program that I had slotted in for 11 PM.
As I was positioning myself on the bed, you positioned yourself too. Athletic and impulsive even in the womb, you moved so abruptly you kicked me really hard. So hard I stood up to take a deep breath and it turns out you’d kicked me so hard you broke my water.
Since your sister took 19 hours of labor to bring into this world, I figured I had more than enough time. I got dressed, packed a bag, and when your dad got home told him he had time to take a shower.
The water breaking had started my contractions. But unlike your sister, this time around things went fairly fast. Maybe it was you. Maybe it was the holistic heath regime I had going through my pregnancy the second time around. I’ve personally always thought the raspberry leaf tea I drank daily might have come through like the literature said it would. At any rate, I had to holler to your dad to hurry it on up.
By the time we got to the hospital, a little after midnight, the contractions were really close together. Auntie D showed up to be my second coach, and she’d figured it would be like the first time too, bringing a basket of all sorts of stuff she felt might come in handy.
Meanwhile, the doctor said everything was good to go and I should start pushing. I had not been in the room for more than 10 minutes.
You were born a little after 1 AM. Your dad was exhausted. He’d come from a full shift at work. Auntie D stayed for awhile. After that, it was just you and I and I did not fall asleep until after 3 because I could not stop staring at you.
You still take my breath away. Oh, I know we have our days. You are tenacious and impulsive and thinking before you open your mouth is certainly not your strong suit. But your dad and I have always been in awe of your fearlessness, your single mindedness towards a goal, and your incredible sense of humor. You bring a lot of laughter to the world and to our family.
I know that the things that may seem like challenges as you grow are the very same qualities that, once you learn to be on top of them, will work in your favor. I’ve always believed that and anyone who has ever tried to break your spirit has been my enemy as well as yours.