"Hey, Seth, what if when I have the baby, the air conditioning in the hospital is broken"? I asked my husband as both a heat wave and my due date approached in early September, 1989.
Seth, already driven half mad by the demands of a tricky pregnancy and my less than endearing habit of anticipating the worst, snarled something uninteligible as he struggled to reassemble Tommy's old crib in our stuffy apartment.
Unbeknownst to me, I would soon go into protracted (four days) labor and that Charlie would arrive -- looking exactly like my 88 year old Aunt Margaret -- one day ahead of schedule on a record breakingly hot and humid day.
And guess what! The air conditioning in the hospital WAS broken.
But guess what else! I was so insanely over-the-moon delirious with unbridled joy to meet Charlie (who, fortunately, stopped looking like an 88 year old woman after a day or two) that I could not have cared less about the temperature...or anything else.
Orange as a carrot and sweet as a jellybean, Charlie and I sweated out our first few days in Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn together.
He didn't seem to mind the heat and all I wanted to do was stare at him...or nuzzle his soft cheek and kiss the top of his tiny, downy head. Or, truth be told, scarf down some of that weirdly delicious red hospital jello.
Why is that stuff so good???
|Me want some.|
Charlie entered the world at ten thirty on a Sunday night and I was so adrenalized that I didn't sleep a wink until the following evening. Instead, I relived every moment of his delivery, babbled too loudly into the phone next to the bed and gleefully anticipated introducing him to his grandmas and his new BFF -- brother,Tommy -- the following morning.
In fact, it became a big topic of conversation for a while as we waited for the first inevitable booger to make its way down the nasal turnpike and appear.
Today that baby is 23 years old...and six foot three inches tall. The interior of his nose is not quite as pristine as it was back then and his color is no longer that of the baby carrots I swirl in garlicky hummus when I need a little snack but he is still every bit as sweet as a jellybean.
And I still feel unbridled joy when I look at him. Happy birthday, Charlie.