Twelve years ago tonight, we had a barbeque, just me, Baroy, and my brother-in-law. Steve drove me nuts, watching my every move.
"Was that a contraction?" he'd ask every time any one of my facial muscles twitched.
It was my due date, but I wasn't there yet. I just knew it.
"No," I said, time and time again. Or, "Just a small Braxton-Hicks."
At some point, though, there was a sea change. I knew that if I told Steve, we'd never get him to go home, and I needed him to go home. I needed to get some sleep. It was almost time.
Instead, I told him that the Braxton-Hicks contractions were coming pretty regularly, and would he do me a favor and time them for me? By the time they were coming every ten minutes or so, I told him that, yeah, he should probably keep the next day clear, just in case. I also told him he needed to go home. Now.
In fact, it was pretty much right now--11:15 on August the 24th--as I'm typing these words tonight. Once we'd finally shoved Steve out the door with orders to get some sleep and keep his phone by his bed, Baroy and I got into bed ourselves, gearing up for a rest that wasn't to be. Within a couple of hours, it would be August 25, 1997, and I'd be up and on the couch, contractions coming every five to seven minutes, beginning the work of becoming a mother for the very first time.
But today--or, rather, 12 years ago today--it was not quite time yet. And that was good, because I wasn't ready. Almost, but not quite. And then, suddenly, without knowing it, I was.
Happy 12th birthday, Em. I love you. And I love what you made of me.