Monday, August 24, 2009

August 24, 1985... 24 Years Ago... little girl was born.

Each year takes me back to the first rumbles of labor, having dinner in Brooklyn Heights at Henry's End with my husband and our friend Charlie. I casually checked my watch and noted that the contractions were regular, but a good 20 minutes apart. We went home, After dinner, at around 11pm, Mark drove Charlie home to Manhattan and I went to sleep. I woke up the next morning, knowing that "this was it". Still, our midwife said it was a good idea to take a bath and have a glass of wine (at 5am!). If this wasn't "it" the contractions would stop. Believe me, it was "it".

A bumpy ride up the West Side highway from Brooklyn to St. Luke's Roosevelt on W. 59th Street is not the most pleasant thing when your uterus is in a vise. But once we got there, the labor was quiet, peaceful and smooth (I kept hearing a woman screaming in the next room, only to be assured by my midwife that I was actually farther along than she was!). With the exception of the crowning of her head (why does the Johnny Cash song "Ring of Fire" come to mind? Hm.), it really was not that bad. Until she was born.

Emma had aspirated meconium into her lungs (if you've gotten this far, I'm assuming you know what that is. If not, look it up. Isn't that what all mothers say?) which led to her being rushed via ambulance to another hospital, one with a NICU, where she remained for a week. Her first APGAR score was a 3. (See "look it up" above). Unlike these days, I was transported there as well and was able to stay with her until she was well enough to come home. I feel very sorry for parents now who have to leave their sick newborns in the hospital alone... I don't know how they do it.

Although she gave us a lot to worry about at birth, she was the easiest baby! She slept ALL THE TIME. And when she wasn't sleeping, she was smiling. She never cried. (She made up for it later, believe me!) She's still happiest when she has slept for 12 hours. Some things really never do change...

This is pretty much indicative of all her baby pictures:

My favorite school picture...

And a modeling job that she did for a store catalog for "Think Big!"

Happy Birthday, sweetheart.

For years, when both of my kids were living at home, our tradition was to eat the same meals on their birthdays that I ate the night before they were born. For Lucas it's chicken fajitas... for Emma, it's soft-shell crab.

I'll get to spend a few days with her later this week and we'll go see "District 9" together. But this morning, as I walked past the Crayola crayon boxes and sticker books at the local pharmacy it took me back to what doesn't seem like so many years ago...

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Polkadot Panthergirl

...circa 1966. Traded the communion dress for this fetching pantsuit, socks and Keds (or were they PF Flyers?).

I was only eleven in this picture, and sometimes put crumpled up balls of looseleaf under my shirt to create the illusion of breasts. (not here, though) In those days, bras were so lumpy that the looseleaf looked pretty "real". Needless to say, I was in a big hurry to grow up.

That summer my mother signed me up for CYO Day Camp (Catholic Youth Organization). Based on my date of birth, I was put into the 10/11 age group. However, I had other ideas.

The very first day, I spotted a boy in the back of the bus who was singing "Satisfaction" at the top of his lungs. He was clearly NOT in the 10/11 group, but he was edgy and dangerous and I immediately ditched my funny glasses and sashayed back there and caught his eye.

We arrived at camp and were greeted by the director: a big, nasty-ass he-woman that I recognized as the gym teacher from hell at my sister's high school. A normal kid would have been terrified. Instead, I decided to doctor the birth date on my bus pass and get myself into the 13/14 be closer to Jagger Junior who instantaneously became my boyfriend.

My mother hadn't yet taken me for my first AAA-cup fitting, so I spent the rest of that summer wearing my bathing suit top under my clothes in the event that he tried to snap my "bra". I said "shit" a lot. The real 13-14 year olds in my group answered every possible question I had about sex. (I imparted all this knowledge to my 9 year old cousin, who immediately lept to the conclusion that he was adopted, because "my parents would NEVER do that!!") Although blind as a bat, I refused to wear my dorky glasses. Priorities, man.

By the end of the summer I was WAY cooler than my yodeling paramour, and even without my glasses I realized he wasn't that hot. I eventually got my AAA-cup bra, about two years before it was completely uncool to wear one.

BlogHer in NYC Next Year!

Well, if I'm going to show up at BlogHer next year (and I am), I suppose I ought to resurrect this here thang.

I might post a few reruns over the next few days while I decide on a topic for my re-entry into blog land.... I have a few bouncing around in my head: The Air Traveler's Strife, Why I Think People Have Lost Their Minds (yes, all of them), Updated Pet Peeves and Other Daily Annoyances, Songs to Drive By...

My goal will be to post something new at least once a week, in between Facebooking and Twittering and ... oh yeah ... life.

See you (and I do mean SEE YOU) at BlogHer next August.