Sweet Sixteen

Sweet Gamma turns sixteen today… in Berlin.

I’ve thought about her throughout the day, but it just occurred to me a few minutes ago that in almost 20 years of mothering four children, this is the first time that I’ve not had one at home to hug on her birthday.

Sixteen years ago today, I awoke in a puddle.  HWTFM, in one of his classic moments, asked if I’d wet the bed.  I told him I didn’t think so, whereupon he asked if HE’d wet the bed.  Since I was the one in the puddle, I told him I thought we were going to have a birthday party, and no one had wet the bed.  At least not in the sense he was thinking of.

He went on to work, as I suspected at that point we still had hours to spare.  Gamma was the only child born on a day other than Sunday.  After packing the few items I would need for a trip to the hospital, I decided to walk — in the air-conditioned comfort of West Town Mall, being closest to Parkwest, where I was scheduled to deliver.  I called my doctor’s office to let them know that my water had broken, and that I’d be in sometime that day… sometime when I got good and ready, that is.

I took the older two (almost two and almost four years old at that point)  to my mother’s house, and headed to the mall.  At Victoria’s Secret, I bought a new summer-weight robe for my brief stay at Parkwest, met a couple of friends, and walked around until labor pains were stopping me in my tracks every few yards.   I called HWTFM to let him know I was headed to the hospital, hopped in my little car, and zipped on over to the doc’s office.

My regular ob-gyn wasn’t on call that day, so I got his partner.  The girls in the office braced me for the fact that he was upset, having been trying to track me down all day.  Evidently, once the bag of waters has broken, they don’t want you to do anything except go to the hospital and lie there.  (Who, me?)

That should have been an indicator for me to have them call my regular doc, but I won the battle of wills that day.  Without anesthesia.

Not a great deal later, Gamma made her appearance in this world at 6 lb, 11 oz.  My smallest baby.  As was our custom, HWTFM went over to Grady’s and picked up some real supper for me, including their famous chocolate bar cake.  She was beautiful, quiet, snuggly, and perfectly healthy.

It was an excellent day.  And I’m sure that today is an excellent day — surrounded by friends, on what may be the grandest adventure of her life so far.  I miss her terribly, but as you can see from the beach picture she sent last week, she’s happy.

Today, she is also old enough to legally drink beer in Germany.   When she comes home in a few weeks, we’ll hightail it to the driver’s license office to get her ticket to ride.  Funny thing, that we allow sixteen year olds to drive but wait until 21 to drink, and in Germany, they can drink at 16 but can’t drive until 21.  At least there’s still the same 5-year separation of the two, which is probably most important.

Happy Birthday, sweet Gamma!

2 thoughts on “Sweet Sixteen

  1. I miss her too! Happy Birthday Mouse!!! We will celebrate when she returns. (Notice the goosebumps on her arm? I remember trying to swim in Germany, and it being really cold!)

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