Thursday, December 09, 2010

A Quarter of a Century

Quarter of a Century. Saying it that way makes it sound like a long time, doesn't it? Twenty-five years ago, my wife & I were expecting our second child. She awoke early and couldn't sleep, so she went in the other room. Around 5am, she came and told me we needed to think about the fact that she might be in labor. Being the loving, supportive husband I was, I told her she probably wasn't and rolled over.

When I heard the slamming of the door accompanied with a muttered "FINE!", I made a wise decision. I got up. After sitting with her a few minutes, we decided it was time to go to the hospital. We finished packing and called a neighbor who had agreed to take care of our 2-year old daughter. As we finished packing her things, he called back and told us to remember a car-seat and something and something and something. I told him that he was more nervous than I was.

On the way to the hospital on the planned route (this was still pre-rush hour traffic) I saw a road-sign that looked familiar. I was pretty sure I knew where the other end of this road was and it would be a quicker route, so I decided to try a road never travelled before (at least by me). The funny thing about roads in Charlotte, they all have similar names. There's Sharon Rd, Sharon Lane, Sharon Amity and I ain't Sharin' Sharon. No wait, that last one is a song by Jim Stafford.

Anyway, when I got the end of Sharon something it wasn't quite where I thought it would be, but it was close. My wife was not amused or impressed. We still got to the hospital before rush hour and in plenty of time.

Ultrasounds were not as common 25 years ago, so we had no idea if we were expecting a girl or a boy (even in that day, those were still the only two choices). We entertained a lot of ideas about determining the sex, tried a boiled egg resting on the belly and a few other tricks, but these were mainly for fun. Our nurse that day told us that the baby's heartbeat would tell you, but many times it was wrong. But she had great confidence when she told us THIS one was a boy.

We took the nurse's prediction seriously, as we had chosen girl names but no boy names. Between contractions for two hours we discussed names as we had discussed for the last nine months, still with no resolution. Fortunately for us, no decision was needed as our little girl was born early that afternoon. I'm not sure if the nurse ever knew about her mistake.

Happy Birthday Katie. You've gone from being my little "bean green" to a wonderful lady with 2.2 children of your own. We love you. Hope today is as happy for you as my day was 25 years ago.

2 comments:

Katie Pennington said...

Thanks Daddy! So far it has been an eventful 25 years, I hope they start to slow down. So is the way you took to the hospital how you came up with the phrase "short cuts"?

Thomas said...

Great story. Thanks for sharin'.