Sunday, January 12, 2003
Ye merry gentlemen
Michael, your tale reminds me of something I kept thinking about in the days leading up to Sawyer's birth - the puzzling question of why a moment as singular and special and celebratory (and full of import for a mother, a father, and an about-to-be-born infant) as the moment of birth should take place in, of all things, a hospital.
We had an amusing moment in the midst of Wendy's labor, probably in about the 19th hour, when patience and bonhommie were wearing a tad thin: A group of carolers (this is the eve before Christmas Eve) had come through the corridor, warbling to the nursing staff. One of the singers, a tall thin man of about 80 wearing a Santa hat, wandered by himself down the hall and stood outside our room (the door was ajar) saying to no one in particular, since no one was around, "Where are the babies? Where are the babies?" Hearing him, a nurse came along and told him this was the labor and delivery ward - that the nursery was upstairs. This seemed a bit much for him to take in; he kept repeating, "Where are the babies? They told us we would see babies!"
At which point, Wendy, whose back labor was showing no signs of letting up, hearing his demand in the middle of a contraction, shouted into the corridor in a clear, if somewhat stressed voice, "You want a baby? Just wait a sec and let me squeeze one out for you."
Uncontrollable laughter. Wondrous relief.