Sunday, March 23, 2008

sweet sixteen

Sixteen years ago today, I was in a hospital bed on Sunset Blvd. with a seven pound fourteen ounce lump lying next to me. It was a toss up as to which of us was more traumatized at that moment, and we were eying each other warily, clearly unsure of the other's intents. Visitor after visitor trooped in to take a peek, and, as wiped out as I was I was grateful for them, because as long as someone else was there I didn't have to feel responsible for anything. I vaguely remembered something to the effect that eventually this small person would actually leave the hospital in the care of his parents...whoever those people might be. I was a little fuzzy about the specifics, but I had the notion that I was implicated here somewhere.


We had rolled into the hospital at 5:30 the afternoon before, bags packed, birth plan in place, What to Expect When You're Expecting bookmarked in all the appropriate places. As is my usual pattern I had read everything I could get my hands on, so I felt confident that there would be no surprises, leaving nothing to challenge the sense of control that was so vitally important to me. I expected to deliver in about an hour, refuse all drugs and leave the hospital - smiling - in my skinny jeans.


You can stop laughing now.


From 5:30 pm until 1:01 am Pacific Standard Time, when Sasquatch finally made an unwilling appearance, I had plenty of time to fully comprehend that the word "control" was no longer relevant to my life and wouldn't be for years to come. (I'm still waiting. Can I get an ETA?) As I looked at the swaddled little body in the bed next to me, I marveled that something that small could wield so much power.


And on this, his sixteenth birthday, he's got at least three inches on me. He's capable of making me run the entire gamut of human emotions in a period of about three minutes. I'm starting to notice suspicious fuzz on his upper lip and the smell of his tennis shoes can kill small animals. This kid who changed the entire course of my life is sixteen years old. Sixteen. Years. Old.


But he'll always be my baby. Even if I'm still a little fuzzy about the specifics.

29 comments:

Carolyn said...

First off, thanks for your lovely happy anniversary comment. Means a lot coming from you with all your recent heartache and trauma.

Next, I must say - man-oh-man - I really enjoy your writing. You always say exactly what I'm thinking (although mine isn't male and sixteen - she's only three and already in control of everything!)

Happy Birthday Sasquatch and Happy Sasquatch's Birthday To You Too RC. Congratualations on successfully giving birth and making it this far without killing him. ;-)

btw - I'm still laughing about the skinny jeans comment.

ped crossing said...

Ahhhh. Amazing how kids change us. And it sounds like you are doing a great job guiding him towards adulthood.

Give him a big hug and remind him that he will always be your baby.

aims said...

One can say so much on days like this I suppose....but never having had children I don't know what it was like to give birth.

What I do know is that he is lucky you are his mom.....even though you'll never fit into those skinny jeans again...

I bet you'll never forget the experience of birth - one that women like me - and men - will never know...you're lucky!

Congratulations are always given to the birthday person - but I think they should go to the mother - for many reasons....Here's to you!

-Ann said...

Happy Birthday to Sasquatch! So....when do the hilarious stories about teaching him to drive begin? :)

Maggie May said...

That was a really lovely post! Happy Birthday to sixteen year old. Sasquatch!
He's not a biker yet then, dressed in black leather?!
I have vivid memories of mine at that age!

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

Happy Birthday Sasquatch!

Rudee said...

Motherhood is never what we expected and it all starts with the dog eared copy of What To Expect When You Are Expecting. It is full of gaps. You could start with unconditional love. The biggest gap of all in my opinion. I never new what this meant until I held my own squealing bundle of joy-it takes your breath away. I don't think the book touched on this kind of love.

I hope you all enjoy the birthday celebrations. And I hope you finally fit back into your skinny jeans. LOL. Most don't and that would be another gap.

laurie said...

ah, happy birthday, sasquatch! i hope your sleepover goes well!

and give your mom a dozen roses. she deserves 'em.

Jen said...

Ah, RC, with the imminent arrival of another bundle of joy at my house, this post made me a bit weepy, especially the bit about the jeans...but then again, I'm at the point where Hallmark Card commercials make me a bit weepy.

Happy Birthday, Sasquatch!

softinthehead said...

Lovely post, those kind of memories are seared in all mothers' memories. And it is true that so much info is "missing" from those books. Especially the no going back sensation!! I hope you both have a wonderful day.

the mother of this lot said...

Happy Birthday Sasquatch. And who needs specifics?

Simply Jenn said...

Happy birthday to Sasquatch. My Kelsie will be 16 in April. I remember I nearly had a panic attack when I had to buy her first prescriptions. We sure do learn on the oldest, don't we? I hope he has a magnificent birthday. I can't wait to hear the tale of his day.

Akelamalu said...

Happy Birthday Sasquatch

It's scary where the time goes isn't it? My babies are 37 and 31! :(

Kaycie said...

Happy Sweet Sixteen to your boy. I know what that feels like! It's weird to look at that big kid and wonder how your baby turned into a big opinionated person all their own. And it's wonderful.

Sandy said...

Happy Birthday, Sasquatch!

I was laughing out loud while reading this post. None of us were nearly as delusional with the 2nd child, were we?

My youngest refers to my oldest as the "starter child".

ciara said...

ha ha skinny jeans & giving birth...isn't that like an oxymoron or something? LOL

♪ happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy sixteenth birthday, dear sasquatch, happy birthday to you! ♫

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Many happy returns, Sasquatch. Don't give your mom too hard a time with your sleepover.

Diana said...

Ah, yes. The Birth Plan. Shall we all have a good laugh over that one?

I actually do know someone who's first birth went exactly like that, including going home in her skinny jeans. As she'd had a lot of sorrow prior to it, I couldn't begrudge her that. Plus, I hadn't given birth myself, yet.

Here's to Sasquatch and his feet and his fuzz! Many happy returns for him, many happy glasses of wine for you. I'm thinking you'll be needing them.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Ahhh, Happy Birthday Sasquatch. Hope it's a good un'. And oh the memories. I bet you didn't bother with birth plans for Gumby and Surfer Dude. I know I didn't for Miss M. :D

Mya said...

Happy Birthday Sasquatch! Can I borrow your tennis shoes? I'm having a rodent infestation problem over here!
And well done RC for getting him this far.

Mya x

Dumdad said...

16? Another two years and Brainbox will be that age. I have to keep stopping myself from saying "where did the time go?" like some scratched record stuck in a groove. But where did the ti....aaargh!

Eileen said...

Happy Birthday to Sasquatch!! How lucky he is to have you for a mother. Time goes so fast. You have a keeper, he sounds like a really good kid, despite the typical teen stuff.

Happy Easter to you and to your family.

Love.

Potty Mummy said...

When you find out what those details are, can you let me know?

Congratulations on being such a good parent RC. I always think that when the kids reach significant birthdays, it should be the parents who get the presents...

PixelPi said...

Happy Birthday Sasquatch, and congrats to RC for being such a good mom. The "one hour" and "skinny jeans" remark made me wonder if you actually read those books.

Oh, by the way, if the stench of his sneakers will kill small animals, would Sasquatch care to donate a well-used pair for me to put in my garden as a pest control?

Career Guy said...

Our three are all in their thirties now. If I learned one thing, it's how unknowable our children can be. Congratulations on getting this far--here's hoping communication keeps flowing.

Stacie said...

A very sweet post, RC. Made me a little teary. Happy birthday Sasquatch. May you have many more to come!

Happy in the Abyss said...

Ah yes, I remember it well. It was raining as I drove to Kaiser Sunset. And yes, it is true that as soon as we knew he had been born, the rain stopped, the clouds parted and the moon shone bright over the Church of Scientology next door. He was the very first baby I ever saw "fresh", the first diapers I ever changed, the first sleepless night I got because of a baby crying. He is the first time I ever got emotional over 10 little fingers and toes.

I love you, ya big lug!

MarmiteToasty said...

HAPPY 16th BIRTHDAY Sasquatch!

You have a super mum....

x

MarmiteToasty said...

ps.... my babies sons are 25, 22, 18 and 14.... and it onlys seems like yesterday I was squatting in a corner of a field having them whilst ploughing the land LMFAO..

x