On the day you arrived, cotton ball clouds floated in a blueberry sky. Occasionally, they gathered and rinsed the town with warm showers. Then, spring breezes dried and swept the streets of Hood River, the city where you were born.
March 14th is Pi Day, which commemorates the symmetry of pi, a mathematical constant and an irrational number. You also share a birthday with Albert Einstein. Comfort with numbers awaits.
You measured 22+ inches from the top of your head, covered in curly dark hair, to the bottom of your soft wrinkled feet. You weighed 9.2 lb. Your Grandma Marilyn and I, along with two other sets of grandparents on your Mom’s side, and two foster aunties, attended your arrival. We waited from nine in the morning until eleven thirty that night.
You had a bit of a crash landing, the result of a protracted labor. Your Mom’s contractions began just after midnight. She dilated fully by early evening and pushed for two hours. Around 10:30, the attending Doc recommended a C-section. It was a good call.
Our first sighting was a photo from the surgical theater. You are grasping Dad’s finger. You lay on your back, exhausted as a warrior recovering from battle. Bandages cover wounds inflicted for tests. An IV allows the administration of antibiotics. A monitor rests upon your belly so nurses could listen to your heart and lungs. A nasal cannula delivers supplemental oxygen and gel protects your eyes. In a way, it’s fitting: your Dad jumps off cliffs for fun and Mom takes no prisoners on the volleyball court. Your badges of courage fit right in with the crowd who’s going to show you the way.
Three days later, you went home, where your first dog buddies lived. Toby, Bruce, Betty, and Roo sniffed you out and approved. The cats, Don and Juan, absorbed your unique energy. Mom and Dad had help from Grandpas Ed and Jeff and Grandmas Jennifer and Debbie. Their trailers sat perched just outside the front gate.
Several days later, Aunt Court and her boyfriend, Angel, flew up from California. Aunt Kelly drove down from Seattle and two weeks farther on, Uncle Noah visited. We live 10 miles down the road, so Grandma Marilyn and I stopped by every other day, as did friends of your Mom and Dad.
Early on you wore out your parents with fussy moments, messy diapers, and feeding times. You did well teaching them routines to suit your needs. They adapted because that is their job and they love you. The three of you have much to teach each other.
Before long, you went on outings to the Doc’s office, to the hardware with the boys, and our house for dinner. That night you resisted settling. Up and down, squalling a bit, feeding a bit, rocking and listening to the crickets on your musical bed. Grandparents held you, as did your Great Aunt Linda, Great Uncle Greg and cousins, Joe and Tillie. Your restlessness prevailed. At departure, though, we could not wait to see you again.
You’ve begun to thrive. Your voice projects well and you are not shy about asking for what you want. You nurse with enthusiasm and have gained a full pound. Your quiet times and your wandering, wondering dark eyes charm everyone. Now, we await your first smile.