Christmas Eve, 1985: Like the "blessed Mother," Wife was "great with child" (pregant with our first).
We were meeting her parents for Christmas Eve church, then would go over to their house for dinner and gift-opening. My parents would make the two-hour drive from their house to ours the next day since Wife, so close to her delivery date, was advised not to travel at Christmas that year.
A couple of hours before we were to leave, she told me she was feeling a little "funny." We had been to birthing classes and supposedly knew what to expect. The feelings and rollings in her tummy continued. We decided there was a good chance this was "it." So we went to church with Wife's suitcase packed. We thought we were going to have a Christmas baby. I was going to get that tax deduction after all.
That's funny to think of now. Whatever it was, that funny feeling subsided and Older son was born exactly one month later, January 24, 1986 -- 25 years ago tomorrow.
On that day I had gone to the funeral of a friend's dad. I knew Wife had a doctor's appointment but, with her being nearly three weeks late (his due date had been January 6), she was going to the doc about every other day to make sure everything was OK. I had kind of gotten over being impatient and I think somewhere in my subconscious I was in denial about the whole thing. In fact, I had picked up a six-pack of beer earlier in the day for my buddy and me, to go with the homemade pizza Wife would make that night. Life would just continue as usual.
I think Wife had gone into a lull herself. That afternoon while she was at the doctor's office and I was at the funeral, her OB told her it was time to take the baby. Like now. Like she should go directly to the hospital and he would meet her there.
I wasn't there, so I don't know exactly what the doctor's reaction was when Wife said she had to go home and pack, but I cannot believe that, with her being three weeks late, it was not something along the lines of, "Go home and pack? You don't have your suitcase with you?!"
This was before cell phones (not that I would have had it on at the funeral), so she reached me when I was back at my office about 3 p.m She had managed to talk her doctor into letting her go home. I went and retrieved her and by 6 p.m. Older Son had entered the world via Caesarean section, one ounce under nine pounds. I watched every bit of it (as I did when his younger brother and sister came along) and it was AMAZING.
Fast forward 25 years and we're celebrating his birthday tonight. He's out of college and he's getting married in June. And he is, without qualification, one of my very best friends. He was in no hurry to get here all those years ago, but oh how he brightened my life once he did.
Happy Birthday, Daniel.