Even after checking in at the hospital to be induced the next morning, it didn’t quite register. Felt like we had checked into a hotel (ok, a budget motel with sorry a$$ twin beds that reclined for some inexplicable reason). N & I watched a re-run episode of “Mad About You” for the hundredth time, laughed at the same jokes we’d heard before, and heartily dug into the rasam sadam and potato roast that Amma had packed for our dinner. I recall that I hung the fetal monitor around my neck at one point, and did a little jig around the room (what juveniles, huh?!).
Little N, with a mind of her own even back then, did not wait for Dr. C to show up for the induction the next morning, and arrived half an hour before he did. Two days later, N & I took her home, where Amma and Appa were eagerly waiting to welcome her. We were TERRIFIED. We could not believe that the seemingly responsible hospital staff would just send off this precious little bundle with the two of us. On the ride home (and on car rides for the next few months), our little cherub seemed to us like an angry little tiger cub (remember, we were already terrified?). She wailed loudly and shed bitter tears each time we stopped at a red light. The next 12 months saw N drive along scenic NJ streets at top speed – racing to beat traffic lights like Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock in “Speed”.
We were also in touristy mode with little N for a while there (although that quickly changed after the first few diaper changes on our own watch). I mean, I have video recordings of us bringing her into the apartment and me saying to N, “Should we show her around or show her the crib first?” (REALLY?? She was all of two days old. Do you think she cared?!).
Seems just like yesterday. But the calendar, and the little munchkin who now almost reaches my shoulder, remind me of the passage of time.
My first-born – who seems soooo much like me (sometimes), who never ceases to amaze me with her creativity (especially with her cooking and music), who has a strong, innate sense of right and wrong (and the self-confidence to stick by her convictions), who I am incredibly proud of (can you tell?), and who can tug at my heart strings like no other – turns 10 tomorrow.
Happy birthday, my bunch cakes!! May this be your best year ever. 🙂