Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Happy Fastest Service Ever Day!"

In the wee small hours of this morning, as a 4 year-old slumbered between us, the Husband said, "Happy Fastest Service Ever at Applebees Day Also Known As No Room at the Inn Day."

17 years ago this morning we drove to the hospital for a scheduled induction of our first son, *J*. 
I remember listening to "The Things We Handed Down" by Marc Cohn as we exited the highway. 

Don't know much about you. Don't know who you are.  We've been doing fine without you. We could only go so far. Don't know why you chose us.  Were you watching from above.  Is there someone there that knows us, said we'd give you all our love. 

This was a long-awaited day.  Not just because he was our first child but because I had been pregnant for 18 months (Why yes, I felt and looked like an elephant, so yes, I was pregnant for 18 months...no but he was due on August 30th.)

While sitting at the admission desk, filled with excitement, a perfectly coiffed and made-up woman came in, already in labor.  I was in awe that it was 7 am, she was in labor and she looked fashion-runway-ready.  I was decidely not runway-ready...unless it was the elephants on parade.

The intake woman put her phone down, smiled at me and said, "I'm sorry, but there is no bed for you."  Can you believe a bunch of people had the audacity to go in to labor all on their own and stole my reservation?!  She told us to head home and they would call when a bed opened up.  I put on my brave face, thanked her and we left.  Not until I got in the car did I burst into tears. 

Will you laugh just like your mother? Will you sigh like your old man?  Will some things skip a generation like I've heard they often can?  Are you a poet or a dancer?  A devil or a clown? Or a strange new combination of the things we've handed down.

We went home and called our family to let them know.   I also asked my mother to please tell my sister who had been calling every day since mid-August not to call me.  (I didn't have caller ID, did anyone? And there's nothing like having someone call you every day to ask, "Anything yet?" to get on a pregnant woman's nerves!)

I wonder who you'll look like.  Will your hair fall down in curls?  Will you be a mam's boy, or daddy's little girl?

A couple of hours later, my doctor's nurse called.  "Dr. C asked me to call and tell you there's no room at the inn."  Seriously, those were the exact words.  I was instructed to come in the following morning and there would be a room for me. 

What do elephants  immensely pregnant women do when their plans for induction are thwarted?  Well, they go out to lunch of course!

When we walked in to Applebees, the hostess asked me when I was due.  "Two weeks ago."  Never, ever in my life have we gotten food that fast.  McDs is slower! ;)  I think they were afraid I'd deliver in the booth. Bwahahaha.

You may not always be so grateful for the way that you were made.  Maybe some feature of your father's that you'd gladly sell or trade.  And one day you may look at us and say that you were cursed but over time that line has been extremely well rehearsed by our our fathers and their fathers in some old and distant town from places no one here remembers called the things we've handed down.

I don't remember much else about that day.  I'm sure the Husband and I played cards.  I'm sure I went and sat in the rocking chair in the nursery looking at his crib all ready for him.  I'm sure I reluctantly answered the phone whenever it rang.  I know without a doubt that I had no idea on this day seventeen years ago what being a mom would really be like. 

You can thank us later for the things we've handed down.

Happy Fastest Service Ever Day AKA No Room at the Inn Day!



  1. That really was a beautiful story. I remember having to get up every time the phone rang off of the couch when I was on bed rest because there was no such thing as a cordless phone! Hope you had a great celebration!