If you follow a calendar, you know that yesterday was July 18th. Unless if you follow a Mayan calendar. Then I may as well be frank with you. You’re dead.
Now July 18th may not be a special day to you, but it is to me. It’s my eldest daughter’s sort-of half-year birthday.
What does that mean? It means that 28 years ago yesterday – to the day – I was not yet a mother. And while this may SEEM unrelated to the title of this post, I assure you there is a connection.
You see, while my first-born made her appearance on December 18th – a WEDNESDAY – this post is about the day she turned two days old. Yes, that’s right. The FRIDAY after she was born.
I remember it well. Even better than the day I gave birth to her because the brain has this special trick it does when you’re in pain. It makes you forget. And while giving birth may SOUND as magical as riding a sparkly-coloured unicorn, it’s actually not that fun.
Fast-rearward to Friday, December 20, 1985
I’m lying in my hospital bed (because back then hospitals kept new mothers for longer than half an hour after giving birth), and with my head propped up on an elbow I’m looking down into the sweet face of my new baby girl.
I’m in awe and want so badly to wake her up because I have so much to tell her but instead I pretend to be a responsible mom.
How could I possibly have such willpower, you ask?
Because I’m sharing a room with a veteran mom named Franka who’s just given birth to her second child and I don’t want her to report me to child services.
Yeah, so apparently at 20 years old I wasn’t all that confident about my abilities as a mom. (Little did I know, I was going to get LOTS OF PRACTICE.)
So I let my baby girl sleep, holding her as close to me as I possibly can without swallowing her. And then it dawns on me. I’ve never felt like swallowing anyone before. THIS is what love feels like. Suddenly I’m not a 20-year-old new mom anymore. I’m a wise sage who has just understood the meaning of life.
Note from the hamster: Are you rolling your eyes right now because I’m rolling my eyes right now.
Then my breakfast arrives (because back then hospitals had room service) and I don’t want to get any eggs on my precious baby so I put her in the tiny basinet next to my bed.
Just as I’m finishing breakfast, my father walks in and the first thing he does is bend down towards the basinet and make goo-goo-ga-ga sounds to my baby.
Footnote: My father is the type of man who can fix anything. He’s also the type of man who does not do dishes, laundry or make goo-goo-ga-ga sounds to sleeping babies. Ever.
My father’s visit doesn’t last long – probably because he’s uncomfortable being around all these women and babies. Or possibly he has to go fix something. But before he leaves I have an important question to ask him. (If you know me in real life you KNOW that I always have an important question lurking.):
“Is it just me or is she special?” I ask.
My dad’s answer: “Yup.” (And if you know my dad in real life you know that there’s a lot of meaning in that word.)
After my dad leaves, Franka walks over to my side of the room and says to me, “I heard you ask your father if she’s special. And yes, Mona. She’s very special.”
Fast-forward today – Friday, July 19, 2013
If you’re wondering what this special baby grew up to be, she’s a crisis management specialist for the digital age. Innovative thinker and leader in her field.
I still want to swallow her.