It’s getting late, but I couldn’t let the day go by without saying “Happy Birthday” to my firstborn daughter, my third grade teacher, Mrs. Randolph…and me! Please don’t think me conceited, wishing myself a happy birthday. It’s just that 16 years ago today God gave me one of the coolest birthday gifts anyone could ever receive – a real live baby! My birthdays have never been the same since, and I am so thankful.
You might think it a bit of a bummer to endure childbirth on one’s birthday, but believe me, I was happy to be delivering. This child was due December 23 and up to that point, my delivery record had been one baby born ten days early and one born just 10 hours past his due date. I was not accustomed to being very late! By Christmas day (just two days past my due date!) people were already asking me that taboo question, “When are you going to have that baby?”
As it turns out it was really all my mother-in-law’s fault. No, not because she had the son that got me in that condition in the first place. And not because it’s convenient to blame the mother-in-law. (I love her dearly.) Read the evidence against her and judge for yourself. To put it plainly, she put some kind of “nurse curse” on me. That’s right, I’m sure it was some kind of incantation of which only nursing professors of her esteemed caliber are capable! The day after Christmas (three days past my due date!), she, and my father-in-law were preparing to leave on a cruise. On the way to the airport, they stopped by to say good-bye, and my mother-in-law asked my permission to speak to the baby “en utero.” She put her face near my bulging belly and began her cooing little talk. It started out fine – something like “Little one, I love you so much. I can’t wait to meet you.” However, what came out of her mouth next horrified me. She said, “You stay right where you are and don’t be born until your MeMa gets back.” Being a hormonal pregnant woman, I wanted to slap her for even thinking that way! I didn’t, but I also didn’t put any confidence in her getting her wish. Wait another ten days to have that baby? Yeah, right!
All I can say is that I didn’t appreciate my daughter’s obedience as much then as I do now. I don’t think her MeMa was surprised at all when she got back to town on January 5, 1993 – just in time to assist with the delivery of Her Highness, The Most Obedient Little Princess.
And now the princess is 16. We had an early surprise birthday party for her while her older brothers were here from Oregon. I wasn’t trying to live vicariously through her, but my family wasn’t much into birthdays when I was growing up. I would never have imagined having 20 friends over to celebrate on my 16th birthday. I did get to do something on my 16th birthday that my daughter, child of an insurance agent, did not get to do. I got to get my driver’s license. My mom and I had to drive to Valentine, Nebraska in a near blizzard, but I got it! Yes, that was some prize, but it doesn’t compare to the one I got 12 years later. “Behold children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward.” (Proverbs 127:3)