Let’s see, where was I? Oh, right! I had just been out to the garden, looking for crocus in the snow and then my mother died. I sort of retreated into a dark, quiet place. Then the computer did, too. I was recovering from pneumonia. Both children were transitioning from the end of another year of college and getting re-organized for the next phase- and not without a lot of fussing, some regression, car repairs and lost mail. Rich has been considering which way to go for the last decade or so of his career and that will inevitably involve a move so I looked in the closets and the garage and basement storage room, thought about the
mausoleum storage locker that still holds the remnants of Rich’s life before us and then I sat down and retreated again.
Where was I? Yes, I remember! Back on the first of March I was down here in Florida observing that the Coopers Hawks were courting for the fifth straight year. This time, they were moving, too, but just across the street: apparently they were under insured during the last hurricane season and their nest was beyond repair. I promised to keep you posted…
How did I miss an entire nesting season? They are, indeed, a happy family and Hannibal (the father) is again turning the streets into something out of CSI: it’s littered with wings and bones and well, there’s a lot of carnage high up in that tree these days as the youngsters (3) demand upwards of 37 small birds plus mice and lizards each and every day. This morning he raided a blue jay nest and if you think you’ve heard pissed off before, it was nothing compared to this. Yikes! Ah, Mother Nature…
Which brings us up to today. And 26 years ago, today. Where was I? Oh, yes! At this precise moment I was about to find my mother nature. Spread, taped and draped after 36 hours of hard labor. I was president of Lamaze at the time and quite determined to have my first born as Mother Nature intended. No epidural, no nothing. But when the doctor himself- not the hapless medical student who was ready to drop out after a night in the pending room with me, not the labor and delivery nurse, not the intern or resident but the main man- stood at the side of my bed and said, in his soft Southern drawl, “Vaacki, y’all are four centimeters now and y’all will be four centimeters a month from now. Ah have another plan.” I conceded. And the eagerly anticipated petite baby girl popped through severed muscles as a 10 pound beautiful boy and I thought, “What will I ever do with this boy?”
What indeed? If you’ve been here a while, you know some about this child, my first, my “special only.” You know that he holds a corner of my heart untouched by any other, you know that his heart is vulnerable, you know that he is humble and shy, gifted and emotionally phlegmatic. He has been, as often as not, a labor of love as hard as those first 36 hours and he has never been less of a gift, or less of a blessing than he was in those first few minutes when I wondered, “What will I do with this boy?”
I am certain, beyond a doubt, that he has often wondered, “What do I do with this mother?” We rub and chafe and laugh and love. Much of the time it is not easy or carefree for either of us. That just makes it richer, better and more of a lesson to be learned.
If you’ve been here before you know that I write about my daughter with abandon but my son doesn’t cotton to it so much. Today I am in Florida and he is on a 20 city tour and I miss him so much that I’m sneaking under the wire with this post.
This is how unassuming and modest he is: he never told me that a picture of the band he plays with is in 4 major music magazines this month. He never told me that the LP/CD release last week would be reviewed widely, with great praise. His sister showed it to me; she found it when she was looking through the music periodicals at Barnes and Noble. That’s him on the phone. See those dimples? What’s not to love? Happy Birthday to us. (You can read/hear here: http://www.ubiquityrecords.com/)