Saturday, May 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Julia Katherine

Happy Birthday Julia
Twenty years ago
I remember looking at you in the hospital nursery
(Yes, you were born in a hospital
Not at home with a midwife
Like so many of my hipper friends' babies
But in a hospital
With doctors and nurses
And ultimately the operating room
To save your little life
Or was it to save mine?)
And realizing that you were the
Most beautiful baby
Truly the most beautiful one
And for the first time
I realized why people showed me pictures of their babies
And I remember looking at the oven-stuffer roasters
When I was pregnant with you
I suspect you probably don't want to hear about that
But I did
I'd pick up a chicken in the refrigerated cabinet
In the grocery store
And look at the weight
And look at my bulging belly
And wonder
I knew you weren't a chicken by the way
I knew you were a baby
I just wondered how you were going to get out
(And frankly sometimes thought it was totally weird
Like a science fiction movie
That we grew little people inside us
And walked around on the street
Outside like it was perfectly normal)
What I didn't know was how wonderful you'd be
I didn't know about walking with you
For years
Hours and hours of walking and talking
And watching you grow up
I remember every time you'd get a little older
I'd tell Dianne that this was my favorite stage
Definitely this age was the best
I'm sorry you cut your leg on the file cabinet
I still have the shirt with the teeth marks in it
Holes actually
That you chewed while I held your hand
And the doctor stitched you up
I'm sorry you broke your leg flying down the stairs
I hope it's okay that I let you
Play soccer with your cast on
And Rollerblade
And swim
It was nice of the doctor
To keep adding on to your cast
When you wore it down exposing your skin
Over and over again
He did that five times, right?
Remember when you wanted to name Jerzy Rosemary?
And you named Duck Duck?
And you wouldn't let me smile at Snippy
Because baring teeth scared him?
Remember how people often asked if I was your teacher?
I should have told them,
"No, actually, she's my teacher."
I should have thought of that

1 comment:

Alice said...

What a wonderful birthday memory for your daughter. I'm sure she'll treasure it forever.