He's Henry. And he looks good in a hat.

Eleven years ago tonight, about this time, I woke quickly from a snooze to a strange, constricting pain. I ignored it for a bit, but by midnight, we were on the phone to the hospital, insisting I was in labor. The nice people on the other end of the line to labor and delivery figured we were first-time to-be parents. We had plenty of time, they said. By 2 a.m., we were, bags in hand, speeding away to University Hospital. Our doula didn't even believe us and told us to call her when I was actually in labor.

Despite all the doubters, I was, indeed, in labor, about 5 centimeters dilated. When the doula finally showed up, the show was almost over. Tim coached me through the pain and eventually relented when I insisted, boisterously and without any care for the drug-free birth plan I'd drafted, that I NEEDED DRUGS NOW. I barfed (they gloss over that in all the cutesy mommy-planning materials), I got a shot of something that made me relax but wouldn't harm Junior, my water broke, I pushed a bit, and tah-dah! Henry Theodore entered the world at about 7:35 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 8, 2003. 

When I realized what day it was, I sang to him: "I'm Henry on the 8th I am, Henry on the 8th I am, I am." I thought he was the most beautiful, angelic, amazing creature I'd ever seen. Now, when I look back at the pictures, he was actually fairly puffy and extraordinarily purple. And he could take some credit for me getting big as a house and waddling for weeks and having stitches in a place no one wants stitches. 

But I cannot imagine life without my Hennerbean or his wonderful daddy, who sent me a gorgeous bouquet of sunflowers and fall colors today. Tim said it was a Happy Friday present. I think it's a Happy Life present. Tomorrow we'll do gifts and party -- movie, pizza, and cake with Henry's fifth-grade buddies. We'll talk about how we can't believe how grown-up he's getting. We'll remember when he was in teeny onesies, or bouncing in a Johnny Jump-up, or riding his trike on the sidewalk. We'll groan as we think ahead: only two years until junior high. Only three years until he can learn to drive. Only 7 years until he heads off to college. 

Everyone says it. Even Ferris Bueller. "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." We're stopping. We're looking around. We don't want to miss a moment.  Happy Birthday, Henry Theo. Mommy loves you. 

Photos Copyright 2014 Tim Schoon

1 comment:

Jennifer Burton said...

Beautifully written! :) love it