Sunday, January 21, 2007

Distracting Myself

I sit here at my computer trying not to think about my frozen hot water pipe. This has happened to me several times over the years and only once did it result in a I am hopeful. Frankie had friends over late and they left after I was in bed. No one remembered to leave the water running a trickle. I am a terrible home owner. Things are supposed to be insulated and blah, blah, blah. I was not meant to own a home. So I am changing sheets and dusting and trying not to think about the water and the plumbers bill that could ensue.........

A Tale To Distract Myself

19 years ago today...............Frankie arrived. The Princess was a different person. I wasn't as good at saying "No, this is what I want." I was afraid of being wrong. I was quick to defer to authority figures.

I woke up feeling crappy and Frankie was my second, so I kinda knew something was up. However, there were no classic symptoms. I couldn't say "My water broke" or "My contractions are two minute apart". I had experienced false labor during my first pregnancy with Tommy and I feared being embarassed again. Now I know that soooooo doesn't matter! But back then.......

Anyway, I had a regular checkup scheduled for around 1 pm and I figured I could last that long and then I'd have a professional opinion. Even though we had moved 42 miles from where we lived when Tommy was born, I kept the same OB-GYN. Doctor's appointments were a hike. Another huge difference was that I didn't drive. I had only just gotten my license and I stuck close to home. So doctor's appointments always involved other people, my ex, my Dad, my sister.

Today was supposed to be my ex, but the car wouldn't start. So our neighbor was driving us to meet other family members. We were in the car in front of the house and I was in the back seat of her jeepy thing and leaning forward into the front seat. It was the only comfortable position. She asked if I was in labor. I said "No, no, everything is fine". Why? I don't know, I felt awful. So we make it to the doctor's office. It was always crowded, there was always a huge wait. When my Dad would take us (Grace went for her four, too) he always fell asleep in one of the deep leather sofas. I never understood that furniture choice. Every visit you'd see some hugely pregnant women being hauled out of one of those sofas. So there I sit, in one of the regular chairs on the sides. Grace was pregnant too, three months behind me. I was so uncomfortable, John, Grace and I were having whispered conversations about my situation. Time is ticking by. Two hour waits were not uncommon. The doctors would often leave to go up the street and deliver babies. Finally, a woman wiser than myself, went up to the receptionist and announced that I had to go in next, I was in labor. Everyone was looking at me. Someone asked why I wasn't saying anything. I said I didn't want to cut the line. Everyone laughed. So I was next, the doctor looked at me for two minutes and told me to head over to the hospital.

Once we arrived at Winchester Hospital they tried to put Grace in the wheelchair, she looked much more pregnant than I did. After three hours at 6:33 pm....there he was. Three hours seems quick from all the tales I've heard over the years, but I was awful. I cried and told them I had changed my mind. I really didn't protest when I was having Tom because I didn't know what was going to happen, but this time I did. I kept telling them to call my father to come and get my father so he could take me home. Poor John. My anesthesiologist had a funny accent and he kept reprimanding me "Don't scream, breathe!" LOL, finally the nurse said "All men, out!" Even John, poor John. She said that I didn't even realize how close I was, if I could just stop crying and push, it would be two pushes max and I was done. I calmed down and they all came back in. She was right....two pushes.

Now, let's back track for one moment. When Grace came up with this brilliant idea 9 monthes earlier (that we should have babies together) she had a girl already and I had a boy. so naturally, she was hoping for a boy and I wanted a girl. This plan was hatched during March, birthday month. We would have a party a week, our grandmother, Mama on the 13th, me on the 20th and Grace on the 27th. So within a few weeks I was pregnant. Grace took a little longer. Over the summer, my father announced Grace would have a boy, but so would I. He told me I only knew "one trick"! LOL He was rooting for a name sake, he knew I was naming a boy after him. I wanted a girl. I planned to name her Aislin, it's the Gaelic word for "dream". That's what she remains, a dream.

The doctor held my son up "It's a boy, what's his name?" "Francis Xavier" I replied. "Francis Xavier, makes me think of a priest or a crooked politician." Well we all know which way Frank went.

So they rolled me away and I slept. As soon as I could walk I brought a big box of chocolates over to the delivery room nurses with card apologizing for my terrible behavior. They laughed and said I had been a piece of cake. They told me some wild stories and thanked me for the chocolate.

Now here we are, 19 years later. He is tall and dark and handsome (no really, even other people say so). He is arrogant and quick to anger. He has always been a handful. But he is the one that people come to. They are drawn to him. And he can be kind, amazingly, incredibly kind. Little kids knock on my door and ask for Frankie to play wiffle ball or soccer with them. Jennifer laughs about passing kids at their bus stops who get all excited. She says it's like driving a rock star. Kids come to him to arbitrate their disputes. He is an incredible athlete. And in a fight, there is no one else you want backing you up. He has proved it time and again.

So I guess I will concede....Grace has a pretty good idea nearly twenty years ago.


Pia said...

wait -- what? I'm a new homeowner, what's the trickle thing?!

BostonMaggie said...

If your water pipes are not very well insulated and you are afraid of them freezing, you leave them on jsut a little. Moving water doesn't freeze as fast as standing water. I live in an old converted cottage, 400 feet or so from the ocean. The wind whips through.