I was scheduled for an induction, but before they got started, my water broke right there at the hospital, which I thought was pretty considerate of my baby to do. That ushered in several hours of the most intense pain and nausea I have ever known or hope to know, until finally an angel disguised in green scrubs came with a great big needle for my spine.
"Hi, I'm Tim," he said as he jabbed me. "This pain is going to go away in just a few minutes," he added as he helped me lie back down.
"If this baby's a boy, I promise I'm naming him 'Tim'" I told him and fell asleep for the next few hours.
Somewhere in there, I think every member of the hospital staff, including the gift shop employees came to "check my progress" if you know what I mean and I think that you do, until at 4:00 in the afternoon my doctor came in and told me it was time to get to work.
And at 5:20 p.m. on Saturday, June 7, 2003, there was this:
My first born baby girl, Lucy Nan.
Here she is, less than 24 hours old with her godmother, Aunt Jennie:
And here we are at home, on Tuesday. How do I know it's Tuesday? My sister-in-law Denise gave me the cutest baby shower gift--a sleeper with The Hungry Caterpillar all over it, plus Hungry Caterpillar bibs for every day of the week (you know, "On Tuesday, he ate two strawberries...but he was still hungry). Anyway, being the new, first-time mom that I was, I made sure every time she wore the bibs that they were on the proper, matching day of the week.
Here is Darren with his new daughter. Oh, and our dog Gatsby, who I found as a stray in our yard a few months earlier. He was a wonderful dog. I know he's waiting for me at the door of my mansion in heaven.
OK, back to Darren and Lucy. Look how tiny she is!
And now it's eight years later, and I've got my grown up Lucy who wants roller skates and yellow hightops for her birthday. She loves to write in her journal, will do arts and crafts projects for hours on end, and reads Geronimo Stilton books and laughs out loud at them. She's a swimmer whose goal this summer is to beat all the boys on her team. Her favorite show is "Fetch!" on PBS--it's a game show where kids race to research different topics. She adores butterflies and peace signs, is growing her hair long for Locks of Love, and can't wait for summer to be over so she can start third grade.
For as long as I can remember, she's said she wants to be a cook when she grows up, but the girl is a born teacher for sure. Her teacher this year thinks so, too. I told Lucy the other day, "I know you always say you want to be a cook, but, man, Lucy, you would make an awesome second grade teacher! You are creative, you love learning, and you love people."
"Really?" she asked me. "A teacher?" Then she thought dreamily for a minute and said, "You know what I'd do for my classroom? I'd have an under-the-sea theme."
See what I mean?
This morning she's at VBS, and then just she and I are going out to lunch at her favorite Chinese restaurant. This afternoon we're going to have a cupcake party--just our family--and she'll open her presents. Then she and Elaine are going to watch "Tangled," which is Elaine's present to her and that she could not wait until later to give her so Lucy opened it at breakfast. Darren's going to take them out for supper and maybe to pick out an inexpensive MP3 player that Lucy is planning to spend any birthday money she gets on. (My baby is buying an MP3 player! I can't take it in.)
So, happy birthday to my darling, big-hearted, easy-going, always-smiling, loving, caring 8-year-old girl. I love you, Lucy!