Thursday, January 06, 2011

Happy birthday, Elvis!

Thirteen years ago yesterday, Tom was driving me down Montgomery Avenue while I alternately panted, and yelled annoying things like "PASS THAT CAR!" and "BLOW THAT YELLOW LIGHT!" I had gone into a sort of lightning labor -- from mild cramps to water breaking in about an hour -- and I was terrified that I'd have to pop out my baby in the middle of Fairmount Park. Worry not, for we arrived at Pennsylvania Hospital in plenty of time. My first words to the nurses were "Give me drugs" and the next were "GET IT OUT!"

Thirteen years ago last night, we were watching "Melrose Place" and "Ally McBeal" as I dilated. I'd had plenty of pain relief and was surprised at how relatively pleasant the process had become. Later, after a few hours of pushing, I was less chipper. When the baby's heart rate started to fluctuate, our OB (who had been called in from a dinner out, and was wearing the most darling burnt orange suede shoes) called for a C-section.

Thirteen years ago this morning, our petite OB had to call for a strapping resident to help yank out my baby, who was firmly wedged between my cephalopelvic disproportion due to my vigorous pushing. (I half-expected him to put a foot on my face for leverage, but thankfully, he did not.) All was well and the baby was healthy. That was really all that mattered, anyway.

My OB had been worried that I was growing a large kid, and she was right: he weighed in at 8 lbs. 13 oz. and he was two weeks early. I was a bit worried for a little while, since my unplanned c-section edged out Skinny Joey Merlino's wife, who was scheduled for 6 a.m. that morning. Although we saw lots of swarthy, beefy guys talking on cell phones (and, oddly, the nurses didn't seemed inclined to remind them that cell phones were prohibited in the hospital), no adverse action was taken against us for making Mrs. Merlino wait. Maybe my husband's Italian last name helped.

Thirteen years ago today, I was stitched up, loaded with morphine and gazing adoringly at our son. Even though I felt like I'd been run over by a truck, I was deliriously happy.

It blows my mind that our kid has just officially become a teenager. Those thirteen years, from where we stand now, seem to have flown by in an instant, even though they weren't always easy years, and our family has been through a lot.

I'm so proud of my kid (by the way, his name really isn't "Elvis"; we just call him that because he thinks he's The King).

He's taller than I am, wears shoes sized larger than his dad, and his knowledge of electronica puts us all to shame.

(Although it is nice to have on-site troubleshooting assistance with one's cell phone.) He's an amazing musician, playing cello, oboe, piano and sax,

and gets terrific grades. He's developed quite a hilarious sense of humor, full of irony (where'd he get that from, I wonder?) and, with very rare teenage-angst exceptions, is a pleasure to be with.

Happy birthday to my giant old baby. He will always be my baby, and I hope he will always be my friend. I love him more than words can say.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful! Happy Birthday to all of you!!

Unknown said...

We called my son Pu Yi (as in The Last Emperor) when he was a baby :-). Congrats on the big milestone. Hope the civility lasts!

Elizabeth D said...

Hey! My kid, one day younger, had the same background on her hospital picture. Takes me back!

Natalie Servant said...

Congratulations! And happy birthday to him! Of course I can't get back the time I invested looking up Skinny Joey, but there it is.

Rooie said...

Happy birthday to you both! And many happy returns. He was a cute baby and is growing into a handsome young man.

SparkCrafted said...

Awww! Hooray for Elvis!

anne marie in philly said...


13 my my!

PS - thanks for the holiday card that arrived today!

Bridget said...

Happy Birthday Elvis! You are one lucky kid, and your parents are luckier than they can imagine.

blogless grace said...

What a wonderful retrospective. Happy birthday!