Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Happy Birthday Chris 1/4/06
Here we are with Chris in Richmond during our "Farewell Tour" in February 2005
Our son Chris with our grandaughter Kyla, on her first birthday in April
Today is the 36th birthday of our son Chris. Happy Birthday Chris!
We hope he's having a good day back in Richmond, Virginia and send all our love to him on this, the day of his birth. Always on the birthdays of our children, when they were growing up, I would drag out their baby albums and look through the pages, remembering when they were tiny and I could hold them in my arms. I had two little albums for the first year of each of their lives and it was fun to look back and recall those days. For Chris, with his birthday being just after Christmas, we made a very concerted effort to be sure Christmas was over and we could celebrate his birthday. Bob's birthday is Christmas Eve and because he had always felt, as a child, that his birthday was mostly forgotten and blended in with the holiday celebrations, we were determined that Chris's birthday would stand on its own and he would feel special on this day. We never combined gifts as he was growing up although it was quite a challenge to find something to give him right after Christmas when he practically got everything he ever wanted! We did somehow manage to come up with something cool (we hope) and to celebrate his day in as spectacular a fashion as we could come up with! We also had to talk about what we were doing the day he was born. How his dad was at work when my water broke (so progressive we thought we were that we talked about such things!) and how my mom and my brother came over to our house to wait with us, for my contractions to get close enough for us to go to the hospital. We even played Scrabble in our kitchen in Elmhurst, New York, timing my contractions, with my brother getting more nervous with each one. We did not own a car at the time and it was up to him to take us to the hospital. He was so nervous and driving so erratically, it's genuinely a miracle that we actually made it to the hospital!
In those days (waaaayyy back in 1970) they didn't let the husbands come into the delivery room. Or, in our case, even up to the maternity ward where their wives were going through labor alone, or with the "help" of often very crabby, unsympathetic nurses (as was the case with our hospital!). Being a big baby, (and only 20 years old) I had prearranged with my doctor to put me out during the delivery so that I would not feel any pain. Silly girl, I still had to go through the labor and then did not have the joy of seeing my baby as soon as he was born. But, I was only in labor for about 4 hours and woke to find that Chris had been born, at 2:00 in the morning. Poor Bob, it was the dead of winter in New York and he was sitting in the waiting room when they told him to go home, that it would be a long time before my baby would be born so he headed back to his parent's house. Not having a car and with no buses or trains running at this late hour, he walked all the way there. No sooner did he reach the house, he got a phone call that Chris had been born. I don't know why he didn't call my Mom or brother, who would have picked him up and driven him back. I guess because it was the middle of the night and it would be his nature not to want to call them at such an hour and wake them up. Knowing my Mom, she was probably not sleeping anyway! At any rate, he walked back to the hospital only to find that they would not let him in to see us before visiting hours anyway and so he fell asleep on the couch in the waiting room and was awakened by the cleaning lady in the morning and was finally able to go upstairs. He actually saw Chris before I did.
All he would do was stare through the glass at his newborn son, thrilled and delighted to see him and realize he was now a father. New mothers know the thrill I felt when they first laid that newborn baby in my arms for the first time. I will never forget the feeling. It is not unlike the one I get each time I see him now and I am able to wrap my arms around him. All 6'2" of him!
Happy Birthday Chris. I couldn't resist retelling the old story. Too bad I don't have baby pictures to look at now. But attached are some recent photos. Chris is now the father of 20-month old Kyla and I'm sure he has his own stories now of what his life was like the day she was born and how his life changed forever once he held her in his arms.
Forgive me the rest of you. I know this has nothing to do with our adventures in Italy and I hope you don't mind my reminiscing today.
Rosemary & Bob