John Scalzi‘s Weekend Assignment for this weekend had a huge awwwww factor to it. and frankly, John, you should have posted a Kleenex alert for the more teary sentimental types so our glasses wouldn’t have fogged up when we read your tender, loving letter to Athena. She truly is a blessed little girl coming from some great looking and creative genes and such a mush for a daddy! I imagine she knows this already but scarcely gives it another thought because in her life, it is as natural as breathing. God bless Athena!
So here is John’s assignment….yes, this is being posted Monday, December 19 but read on and you will understand, I promise.
Weekend Assignment #90: Holiday Memories
In all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s good to take a moment to remember that this time of year is full of wonderful memories. And that brings us to this week’s Weekened Assignment:Weekend Assignment #90: Share a treasured holiday memory. If it happened during the holiday season (which means, basically, from the the day after Thanksgiving to the end of the Bowl Games), it’s eligible.
My holiday memory is sweet and tender and like John’s involves a beautiful baby born one evening in December.
Today is my firstborn’s 19th birthday. I can’t believe this woman-child is my baby girl all grown up. Time is so heartless to move forward so fast. I know I asked it to slow down and wait for me to catch my breath many times in the lifetime of this girl as well as the four who came after her. Time can be such a bitch sometimes!
Holly Austa was/is our grand science experiment. This is the role a first born child assumes, like it or not. Lucky for us, with a few excrutiatingly painful exceptions, she made it easy for us to stumble through raising her from infancy through childhood, adolescence and adulthood.
Bill and I believed at the age of 24 and with three years of marriage we were ready to be parents….well, yes and no. We quickly learned we weren’t as wise and grown up as we thought. Many new parents, I imagine discover that too.
But the day that positive home pregnancy test showed up in April 1986, we were immediately in love with our baby bear. We knew the girl’s name already as I shared a couple years prior with Bill about a schoolgirl friend named Holly and how much I loved her name and wanted to name a daughter Holly. He liked it and agreed. That was easy!
The pregnancy was easy too. A little queasiness, a little exhaustion were the hardest part for me. Even quitting smoking after the stick turned blue was easy as the smell of smoke made me queasy. My hair was full, thicker (if you can imagine) and shiny, my skin glowed and I had cleavage. I was a glorious pregnant woman while carrying Holly.
Bill and I, together, were your typical giddy young parents to be. We even were the darlings of our Lamaze childbirth class as we were the youngest in the class by at least ten years….we were the babies!
The time came for my girl to make her debut (she was induced on the busiest childbirth day of the year) and I soon learned how clueless I was…..I had to ask my nurse as I pointed to the monitor if that tracing I saw was a contraction. She looked at me like I was the biggest idiot as she told me it was and asked if I felt it. I did but I wasn’t sure….I mean, I never done this before, okay. But now I knew….not bad! I mean, I honestly had had menstrual cramps worse than this….the kind that would make me unable to stand and sometimes pass out from….this labor was going to b easy I decided.
Of course I had motivation. MY wonderfully supportive mother assured me that no breathing or drug was going to change the fact that labor hurt and hurt bad so I may as well resign myself to the fact that NOTHING alleviates labor pain……”I’ll show her”, I stubbornly resolved.
Six hours later, I will confess, yes it hurt at the very end. It hurt because I wanted to push and my nurse insisted I wait for the doctor. I begged her, my husband, the pediatrician and NICU nurse over and over again to let me push until I heard my doctor’s soft voice tell me to go ahead and push if I wanted to so badly.
Push I did….a big push with all that was in me. With that push out came her head…two more pushes and out she came Friday, December 19, 1986 at 5:58 p.m. weighing 8lbs 4oz and 21 inches long..
She was quickly whisked away and examined by the pedi. There was thick meconium stool in my amniotic fluid and she took a deep gulp before coming out. The pedi needed to be sure she didn’t inhale it as it is a dangerous thing in her lungs.
Soon enough I discovered that all was well as I found myself gazing into the biggest, darkest eyes I had ever seen.
This was my girl!
I was HER mommy!
Lucky for me she seemed to know what she was doing because in spite of raising my two brothers and one of my sisters, I had no clue how to care for my own baby…..like I said, she was our science experiment.
I was awed that somehow I had had a part in making something so exquisitely perfect. I still feel that way sometimes when I catch myself staring at her too long. She thinks I want something yet all I am doing is taking in this beautiful girl of mine….and today she is NINETEEN!
My best holiday memory is two-fold in that although our “poor December child” never lost herself orher birthday in holiday madness we had a annual tradition of taking a picture of our birthday girl in front of the Christmas tree. It was a way to really see how much she had grown and changed.
My gift to all of you who humored me as I recounted the day Holly was born is to share 18 years of Holly and her Christmas tree. Enjoy!
Extra credit: Fruitcake: Ever, you know, had any?
I have received it but I never ate it…it was scary looking!