On this day two years ago (actually it was not on this day, because the day two years ago does not exist this year, It was a leap year February 29th.) that Maxfield decided it was time to start his entrance into this world. I remember so much and so little from that day.
It was the due date. It was also the first nice day of winter. The sun was shining and it was in the low 60’s. Being that we were pent up for most of the winter Lauren and I decided to enjoy the weather by going for a walk around the neighborhood. We left our house hoping to suck up as much sun as possible. It was about 2:30 in the afternoon.
As we left the house we saw all of our neighbors out in their yards also enjoying the weather. We said “hello” to Gary and Julie and other neighbors and all of their kids. I think Rick and his wife, who I can never remember her name, were also out with their kids. They were all standing on Julie’s yard, across the street from our house, watching the kids play. We said we would be back shortly to chat.
We turned the corner and were chatting about how nice it was outside. We were walking at a slow pace because Lauren was big in the belly. We made it halfway up the block when Lauren grabbed my arm and said, “Oh my God!”
“What?” I replied thinking that maybe she forgot to turn of the Television.
She did not say anything she just kept giggling.
“Did your water just break?”
“Yeah. And I’m wearing white pants.”
“What? Do you feel okay? Let’s head home.”
“Give me a second.” She said as she was inspecting herself.”
In my mind I was going through all the things I learned in birthing class. “I have to get her a new COAT. I need to time her breathing. Hell I don’t own a watch. Maybe we can stop at the mall on the way to the hospital to get a watch. I need to get her bags to the car. What did we forget? I have to call my mom and tell her we cannot make it to her Oscar party.” These were only some of my thoughts.
We shuffled back down the block and did our best to sneak past the neighbors across the street. As we approached our house Rose and Paul, the neighbors to our left, pulled up in into the driveway. Rose yelled out, “Hey guys! Don’t go in yet. Sabina wants to say hi.” Sabina was Rose and Paul’s 3-year-old daughter.
Lauren turned to me and through gritted teeth said, “I’m going inside. You can explain.”
We just waved and entered the house. Lauren called the doctor and got changed. I remember from the class that the baby has to be delivered within 24 hours of the water breaking to reduce the risk of …of….something or other. I knew we were going to be at the hospital for the next few days. Holy crap! I was going to be a dad within 24 hours.
Lauren was not experiencing any labor pains and took her time getting herself together. Once she was ready, I grabbed her suitcase and took it to the car. I would come back to escort her. As I walked out with the suitcase Julie looked over with a puzzling look. Rose, Sabina and Paul were now standing across the street.
“I think it is time.” I yelled over to the gaggle of people gathered on the sidewalk.
“Really?” Someone said.
I went back to the house and did a mental check of everything and Escorted Lauren to the car. As we stepped onto the walkway, Rose and Julie came over and asked if we needed anything. We said no.
“I can’t believe this happening.” Rose said.
“I know.” Replied Julie. “It is so exciting that we are here to witness this.”
I went back in the house and told Lauren about the gathering in front of Julie’s house. She mentioned how awkward it was to be going through this with everyone watching. We left the house. The people across the street were talking louder and louder and pointing to us. Lauren and I didn’t really know what to say. We got into the car and said we would let everyone know. As we pulled down the street all the neighbors gathered on the sidewalk and started cheering and clapping. I compare it to the end of the move Brubaker, when Robert Redford leaves the prison or to the end of Wizard of OZ when the balloon is about to take off and all the munchkins are waving and cheering. Maxfield would not be born until March 1st, but his entrance was already starting in a very surreal way.