Fifteen years ago today, I was hugely pregnant, nervous, and anxiously awaiting my water to break.
My due date was Feb. 27, but, alas, our long-awaited baby boy had not yet arrived. And boy, were we ready...or so we thought...
I had nested till I could nest no more -- the baby's room was painted a comforting shade of blue, the cutsie/cozy Boynton farm animal border (with matching crib bumper, blanket and other accessories) was up, the baby clothes were lovingly washed in Dreft, folded and lay neatly (and all but alphabetized) in the baby's dresser. The hand-made changing table that John designed and built was bedecked with a perfectly fitted changing pad, and a month's worth of diapers were stacked and ready for duty.
Our house in Cincinnati was unbelievably organized and spotless, down to the practically- spit- polished bottom of the tea kettle on the stove. We'd been to childbirth classes, I had my hospital bag packed, the car was full of gas, the birth announcements were stamped and ready to mail. Oh, and have I mentioned that I had read, cover to cover, every pregnancy/infant-toddler care book I could get my pudgy, fluid-retaining hands on (including "What To Expect When You're Expecting" and 'What To Expect The Toddler Years")?
And then, finally, on March 2, 1993, Daniel John was born.
Fast-forward through 15 whirling dervish years.
Daniel's room needs a fresh coat of paint, and he's considering khaki with a U.S. Marines motif (over my dead body). His floor is dotted with piles of clean and dirty clothes (hard to tell which is which), hence, I am wondering why we even bother to offer him a dresser.
Our house in Iowa is unbelievably disorganized because March 1, 1993, was the last time my life was in any sense of order. And frankly, who has time to nest? Who has time -- or the desire -- for spit-spot cleaning? As for the bottom of my tea kettle...don't even go there. My last book read? Can't say that I've read a book from cover to cover for many a moon...I usually fall asleep midway through Chapter One.
However, I now understand why there is no book titled "What To Expect The Teenage Years"...if there was such a book, and anyone contemplating having children actually read it, NO ONE would have children. They would run, screaming, to the closest Planned Parenthood clinic for a lifetime supply of the surest form of birth control available...
But, as usual, I digress.
Truly, though, Daniel has reached his teen years in (yikes-a-roni!) the proverbial blink of an eye. Seems like only yesterday I was softly singing "You Are My Sunshine, My Only Sunshine" to the little nipper as I lovingly rocked him and fed him his bottle. Today I just stand by and watch in loving amazement -- and amusement-- as the now-going-on-strapping-young-man jams out to "Slow Ride" via Guitar Hero III while wolfing down pizza and Gatorade.
In the blink of an eye, indeed.
(Where, oh, where is my copy of "Love You Forever"?)
In a little while, we are going shopping for track shoes. While in Carroll, we're picking up a driver's test study guide. Yes, I am finally facing the the inevitable -- Driver's Ed looms ahead this spring, and the kid is old enough to get his learner's permit. I don't know if they manufacture enough Xanax to get me through these next few years...
However, there are signs that I am actually adjusting, slowly but surely. Why, just last night, for the first time, I did not shed one tear -- my eyes were not one tiny bit moist, even -- when he walked out the front door, got in a car with a friend, and they drove off to a movie.
I prayed, but I didn't cry.