The tree is decorated and the presents are wrapped. The few cards I will send this year left my house this week, but the cookies are not baked yet. I am not as organized as I was the year Kelly was born. But on this day–the eve of her birthday–as I sit at my computer, I cannot help but think how this year’s Christmas is similar to that year.
You were late in coming, Kelly, but just five days before Christmas, I was still expecting to be entertaining my family. Did I think I would still be pregnant, or did I even consider that I could be in the hospital, missing my own party?
Fortunately for Grandma and Grandpa, who traveled over the Hudson River and through the woods to accompany us to dinner, the weather was clear and the temperatures above freezing. Just today, you and I discussed the meal I ordered that night: soup, salad, baked ziti with meatballs and sausage, a white wine spritzer, and cheesecake. The waitress at Lucy’s Restaurant told us the story of the woman who had gone into labor just two hours after eating there two weeks ago. We laughed, but then sent Grandma and Grandpa home. At 10 pm, my water broke and we were on our way to the hospital. The waitress knew!
I am not certain exactly when they returned to sit and wait for your arrival, but like the birth of your first child, it was a very long time. The three of them (Grandma Rita joined them) did not have the toys like we all did—smart phones or IPads—so I don’t know what they did to pass the time.
I was lucky I had so much to eat, but after you were born that next night (9:29 pm), Grandpa went out in the rain and banged on the door of McDonald’s to get me some food. We were all home by Christmas Eve, and the house, mailbox, and trees were decorated with balloons and crepe paper by our friends, Jan and Tony.
You were up every hour during your first night home, but that did not stop the Christmas party. Everyone took turns passing you around like a hot potato, and the champagne was flowing, particularly with Dad, who was just so excited that day.
So this year, we are waiting the birth of your baby. While she is not expected for two more weeks, and we prepare to celebrate your birthday one day early today, I wonder if we will get a call tonight after we leave the restaurant, telling us the time has come. Will you be reading this tomorrow in your home, or will you already be in the hospital? Will this baby be just a bit early so you can celebrate Christmas 2015 with two children, or will she be late? 2015 or 2016? I can’t wait to meet her.