Children

A Birthday Dinner

Snowman turned 16 today.

We met The Father of My Children, Papa (paternal grandfather) and Delightful (his wife) at a Japanese restaurant in town. We enjoyed sushi and tempura, steamed shrimp dumplings and miso soup (though not in that order). Food was shared around the table, and to Papa’s relief, no two people ordered the same thing.

We reminisced about exciting scenes from Snowman’s infancy and childhood, recalling the day of his birth.

"He just popped right out," said TFoMC.

"You can say that after you give birth," I replied.

But it’s true, of our three children, Snowman was the one in a hurry to be born. I woke before the sun on that October 30th, knowing this was the day, five days before the due date. After all, I was experienced! (So experienced that we had gone in a week earlier with equal certainty…) We called Papa and Nona, and they drove the 40 minutes from their house in, oh, about 38, to take care of #1 Son, and then off we went to the hospital.

My water broke just before I climbed onto the bed. I call that good timing.

I faced a window that looked out to nowhere discernible, and each powerful contraction seemed to throw me into the glass, then yank me back to reality again.

Fortunately, it didn’t last long. Soon I was holding a little bundle of boy, wrapped tight in a blanket, face scrunched up tight, crying, "WAH WAH WAH WAH!!!!"

He stopped as soon as I began to sing.

I worked in the Children’s Room at the City By the Sea Public Library until shortly before he was due, and the storytime for 2 year olds was my territory. That morning, I sang not a lullaby, but those songs he had been hearing week after week while he grew inside me.

Happy Birthday, dear Snowman. Tonight it is Don Byron and Artie Shaw to whom you listen, Stravinsky and Mozart whose music you play. 

But it all started with "The Wheels on the Bus."

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