Today is a very special day. Yeah, sure, it’s Father’s Day; everyone knows that. In our house, however, we’re celebrating something in addition: The older boy turns 17 today!

WOW!

Take a moment and absorb that reality with me.

How is it even possible that Jim and I, being so youthful (and great-looking) ourselves, could have a son who is 17? No idea? Me neither.

Anyway, this is only the third time that Father’s Day has fallen on the boy’s birthday (including his BIRTHday). The last time was in 1998. To be completely honest, though I have photos in the closet of that birthday, I can’t remember it. Instead, I have chosen to tell you a little bit about the boy’s BIRTHday (don’t be frightened off: no gory details here–I hate that!) since it was on that Father’s Day that Jim actually became a Father.

Whenever the subject of the birth comes up, Jim and I always tell the boy two things:

1. June 21st–the longest day of the year–was also our longest day ever.
2. Neither one of us was there for the birth.

Let me explain what we mean in a very vague, non-disgusting way that won’t scare any of you away.

We went to the hospital in late morning. In our “birth plan” that we were encouraged to give to the staff by our lamaze teacher, we had decided that I wanted no part of any drugs and wanted to do everything we could to give birth naturally. (Idiots.)

Blah blah blah…by late evening things still weren’t progressing.

Blah blah blah…I remember seeing a rerun of Saturday Night Live that night, with Susan Dey hosting. I was excited because I adored the skit about the Bradys and the Partridge Family having a Battle of the Bands.


Blah blah blah…it got very, very late and I was exhausted. I finally got some sleep and Jim took the worst photo of me ever, while I was out cold. With my mouth wide open. All that was missing in that horrible photo was drool. I ripped up the prints in horror when they were developed, and made that photo go away forever.

It seemed like we were never going to be done with having this baby. At some point after midnight my doctor finally arrived; she had been at an event of some kind and if I remember correctly, she was in a ballgown. She told us that I wasn’t progressing and a C-section would be necessary. (My opinion afterwards? She was in a hurry to get home.) We reluctantly agreed to go ahead, and they sent Jim into the bathroom to quickly change into scrubs while they began to take me down to the operating room and prepare to give me a local anesthetic, so we could have one of those happy delivery scenes straight out of the movies, during which the husband is holding the wife’s hand while the doctor holds the baby up above the drape, and happy tears commence.

On the way to the operating room, I was in so much pain–and my strength (Jim, of course) was in the bathroom changing clothes, so I begged them to just give me something to put me out. I wanted general anesthesia. They said, “Are you sure?”

“Of course I’m sure!” I exclaimed. (Geez!)

And that, folks, is all I remember until after I woke up from surgery to see Jim sitting there next to me, happy to report that we had a bouncing baby boy but completely devastated beyond belief because when I demanded general anesthesia, they gave it to me and then–afterwards–promptly told Jim that he could not enter the operating room like he could have if I had just had a local*.

On the bright side, though neither of us were there for the birth, we had a healthy son. On Father’s Day**.

Now, seventeen years later (argh!), that bouncing baby boy has grown into this amazing young man. It’s interesting to see that his personality rooted from Day One. He was an intense baby, a smart toddler with negotiating skills that would rival an attorney, a funny little boy who knew how to make others laugh and also laugh at himself, a polite youngster who impressed adults with his manners, and a thoughtful and caring little guy who always asked the bank teller for an extra lollipop for his brother. He possesses all of these personality traits even today; they’ve just been rolled up in one fantastic package. We are really proud of him, today and everyday. Some scenes from this past year:

He got his license shortly after his 16th birthday, and although he still sometimes takes corners too fast for my taste, he is actually an excellent driver.

He realized his true calling: graphic design. (Just like his talented Aunt Julesie!) Yes, he made this. It won inclusion into the School District Fine Arts Festival and is matted and waiting for me to buy a frame so I can hang it in my computer area.

He created, organized, and supervised a massive Boy Scout Eagle Project at our synagogue. Good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise (my mother-in-law says that and it’s one of my favorite sayings), he will get his Eagle Scout application and other paperwork in the mail by the end of the week. Yippee!

He was inducted into the German Honor Society at school. So proud.

And of course, there was Lacrosse. As JV goalie there was never a dull moment. And we all loved every minute of it.

My gosh, how time flies. Happy 17th Birthday, Older Boy. Dad and I are so proud of you. Even when we’re nagging you to get your stuff done. Still proud. You are our favorite older son and we love you very much!

Regarding Father’s Day…Jim, I couldn’t have married a better father to these boys. You amaze me everyday with your dedication to the family, and to helping me raise these boys the right way. You are a wonderful, strong role model and I thank you so much for that. I love you!

To the rest of you? I want to wish a Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads out there, including my own Dad! Have a great one!

*Are you kidding me??? Seventeen years later I still wonder why the hell the nurses didn’t say to me, “You know, we can give you a general anethestic, but your husband won’t be allowed in the room.” That probably would have given me strength to wait just that extra 60 seconds before he would have returned to my side. Would that have been so hard? This was our first baby. I wouldn’t have thought to ask in advance; I assumed that Jim would still be allowed in. Sometimes people suck.

**The Wisconsin Dairy Board even took notice of this special birthday; because of the Father’s Day birth, a couple of WDB representatives brought us a bunch of cow-themed stuff and took my picture (ack!) for their newsletter.