"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner

Saturday, February 28, 2009

SIXTEEN CANDLES AND A BOTTLE OF DREFT


Sixteen years ago today my tummy was as big as a house -- or so it seemed -- and I was a day past my due date...

There was no way to know that FINALLY, come March 2, 1993, I would, thankfully, give birth to Daniel John, our healthy, adorable, 9-pound baby boy.

I had cleaned and nested till I could clean and nest no more -- one could literally,  if one chose to, eat off my kitchen floor. The baby's room was ready and then some, I had all but alphabetized the onesies and sleepers, and our house reeked of Dreft. I was practically dabbing the stuff on my wrists. To this day, I sometimes sneak a sniff at the grocery store and I swoon, I tell ya, I swoon...

Yes, one whiff of Dreft and it all comes rushing back -- the excitement...the anticipation...

And, of course, there were the endless questions...

What would labor REALLY be like?  Would Daniel have all his fingers and toes? Would he have lots of hair? No hair? What kind of parents would we be? Should I have taken infant CPR? Was it too late to take infant CPR? How would I know if its REALLY time to go to the hospital? How bad would the pain REALLY be?

Sixteen years later I don't truly recall what I did the last few days before Daniel was born...

I'd read all the books, we had all the clothes, bottles, diapers, etc., we could possibly have ready for Our New Arrival...just bring on the baby! There was,of course, no turning back...I finally accepted the fact that what would be, would be. A small voice inside me whispered calmly, "one day at a time, Annie. One day at a time."

Now, the thought that someday our Sweet Little Bundle of Joy would be, of all scary things, a TEENAGER (YIKES-A-RONI), did cross my mind. But it seemed soooooo  many days in the distance...I told myself that it would be a very long time before all the parental worries that go along with the teenage years and beyond would arrive at our doorstep...

Well, I was wrong. 

Dear God, the years between Sweet Little Bundle of Joy and TEENAGER (YIKES-A-RONI) freaking FLEW by in a New York minute!

One day John and I are painstakingly following the directions to make THE perfect Elmo first birthday birthday cake while Our Little Darling is napping,and the next day Daniel is telling me as he runs out the door to an air soft skirmish to skip the  birthday cake this year, for crying out loud, he's going to be 16 not two.

Well, excuuuuse me.

Actually,  the cake NOT being a big deal is a bit of a relief -- I still remember his sixth birthday when I went through two botched box mix cakes before I threw in the proverbial June Cleaver apron,  bought an ice cream cake an hour before the party started, and called it good.

That was also the year we had the party in the church fellowship hall, played Pin The Tail on The Donkey, Drop The Clothespin in the Milk Bottle, and -- if my memory serves me correctly -- I also introduced Daniel and his little buddies to the thrills and chills of the 60s' birthday party fave, the Potato on Your Shoe race.

Later came the birthdays that were Everything Harry Potter, pizza, and remote control cars.

Of course, two days before his 16th birthday and the only kind of car Daniel is remotely interested in is one that he can actually drive, by himself, hither and yon, sans mother in tow.

Oy.

As I sort the laundry, I catch a whiff of Old Spice "After Hours" on Daniel's shirt. And it all comes rushing in...the excitement, the anticipation, and, once again, the endless questions...

Omigosh!  Daniel is turning 16!  What kind of a driver will Daniel REALLY be? Will he live to see 17? What does he REALLY want to  do when he graduates from high school? Have we done the best we could so far as parents to instill all those values and virtues that we want him to have? And even if we have, all kids test the waters...what will the next few years REALLY be like as Daniel quickly matures into manhood and we slowly but surely melt into old age? Will he find the right woman to marry? Will he have children? Will they be healthy? Will I live to not only see my grandchildren,  but REALLY know them and love them? Will they love me?

Will they haul me away, lock me up, and tether me if they catch me sniffing bottles of Dreft at the grocery store?

Sunrise. Sunset. Sunrise. Sunset.

Swiftly fly 16 years, indeed...

I race to the grocery store, making a bee line for the laundry aisle.

Suddenly, a small  voice inside me whispers, calmly, "One day at a time, Annie. One day at a time. That's how you got him to 16, remember? Step away from the Dreft."

Damn it, it's just so hard to let go.

1 comment:

Billy Brandt said...

Blogger chick:

Damn, you're good. It just seems like yesterday and blink, blink, we're grandparents and it starts all over again. I had forgotten about the Dreft. Thanks for the sensory!

Billie Brandt