It was snowing the night my daughter decided to finally leave the comfortable confines of the womb, almost a week late, establishing a pattern she would hold to this day. The roads were passable, but they were getting slick, but in spite of the typical January snowfall, I thought surely, this child had to come soon.
I was off the road by this time; the band I was working with was rehearsing for an album, the sessions for which were to start a few weeks later and, well, I was not going to miss the birth of my first child. As I drove home through the fluffy, huge flakes falling heavily onto the ground and piling up quickly, I flashed on some of the scenes of my marriage during this pregnancy:
I remembered the day we found out my wife was pregnant. We had just decided to try to have a child only a couple of weeks before. I remembered standing up, punching my fists in the air, and shouting “Ninja Sperm!” as I hugged and kissed my laughing bride, because I am nothing if not classy at all the important times in life.
I took her out to a nice little deli to celebrate but, after we ordered, she got sick before the food had gotten to the table. She was cramping and throwing up, so I took her to the hospital. Just a case of dehydration, it seemed. All was well.
I remembered coming home a few months later after a recording session and finding her on the floor of the corner of the kitchen. She had taken an entire loaf of bread, taken the crusts off every slice, molded the remains into a ball, and was sitting on the floor eating it like a large apple.
Cravings, you know.
I remembered waking up in the middle of the night and finding my wife, seven months along by that time, sitting on the edge of the bed sobbing.
“Honey,” I said, reaching out to caress her shaking shoulder, “What’s wrong?”
“I-I-I-d-don’t,” she gulped pitifully, “I-I d-d-don’t have anything t-to w-w-wear!”
“But Sweetheart, we bought you a bunch of new clothes just a week or so ago!” I said, trying to calm her.
“T-t-they’re as b-b-b-big as CIRCUS TENTS!” she cried.
My mother had come to stay with us in hopes of being here for the birth of my parents’ first grandchild. I remember the day we called them to tell them the news: it was met with stunned silence. For some reason, without saying as much, I felt like many people in the family didn’t think my wife and I would last as a married couple, and I felt like all of our doubters, possibly my parents included, thought that we would be completely unsuitable as a mother and father to a newborn. Still, in a very short time, they came around to the idea and were looking forward with great excitement at the prospects of being Grandparents. (I asked my father how he felt about being a Grandfather. He said: “The only problem I have with being a grandfather is waking up every morning next to a grandmother!). Mom had been staying with us for the better part of two weeks. If the baby didn’t come in the next day and a half, my mother would have to go back home to Dad and would miss out on the birth.
My wife hadn’t been able to sleep on the bed since shortly after the night she woke me up crying about her wardrobe. She slept on the couch and I slept on the floor beside her. The couch was a gift from my parents. In fact, all the furniture was from my parents. When we moved into the apartment, we had our clothes, dishes, my guitars and amps, and not much else. We did like the situation we were in for a time; we bought a futon mattress to sleep on and positioned things on the floor in such a way that things only made sense when you sat on the floor and found everything within easy reach.
However, as my father explained: “You cannot have a pregnant woman sitting on the floor, son!”
I came home from the rehearsal that night intending to slip quietly into the apartment, not wanting to wake up my wife on the couch nor my mother, who was sleeping in our months old bed in the bedroom. Nevertheless, I found my wife awake.
“Honey?” I said, as soothingly as I possibly could. “Are you o.k.?”
My lovely, diminutive wife was levitating at least five feet over the couch. Her eyes were glazed over to an almost otherworldly white, and her head was spinning around three hundred and sixty degrees.
“YOU DID THIS TO ME!” she said with voice that rang through the apartment as if it had come from the very heart of hell.
“Is it time, Honey? Do you want to go to the hospital now?”
Her eyes turned red and lasers SHOT out of her eyes, burning two holes right through my forehead! She spit what seemed to be pea soup at me! Tables and chairs were flying around the room!
“I HOPE YOU PASS A KIDNEY STONE THE SIZE OF A VOLKSWAGEN!” she hissed as she raised up farther into the air.
Just then, my mother appeared behind me, looking up at my wife floating in the air, dodging plates and cups flying all around her. She was clothed, had her coat on, had my wife’s coat over her arm and was carrying my wife’s suitcase. My Mom had been a nurse since before I was born. I depended on her professional expertise.
“Get her in the car! Let’s get her to the hospital!” she said, ducking and just missing getting hit by the coffee table flying just over her head.
I turned to grab my coat.
Hit in the face by a frying pan flying at me from the kitchen stove!
There was no doubt about it. I was about to become a Dad…