In the post-Thanksgiving lull we all seem to be forgetting that it's S's 11th birthday. She was born, while the World Trade Center site was still smoking and smoldering 14 blocks south, on the day after Thanksgiving in 2001.
I had been up late, disco dancing at a Thanksgiving party with my sister the night before. We were with a bunch of post-Mormon academics who loved the Shins.
The next morning, after about six hours of sleep, while watching Alice's Restaurant on dvd and taking care of three-year-old Z, my water broke.
Later, the host of the Thanksgiving party would attribute this to his spicy butternut squash soup.
I was very casual about it. I called the midwives who told me to come into the birth center to get checked, but before doing so I threw on a tattered leather coat and stopped off for a chocolate croissant, which was the only accessory I arrived at the birth center with.
The midwives didn't let me return home, so I made thousands of calls--to A telling him to bring a long list of stuff, including--inexplicably--grape juice. And then to S. who would be taking care of Z.
The afternoon wore on. It grew more harrowing. The birth center was eerily quiet--most of the rooms dark; everyone gone for the holiday weekend, the only laboring person there was me. And then the midwife, one nurse and A.
For this reason, there is no video, hardly any photos, which is a little sad.
S. is one of the most complex and interesting people I've ever met in my life. We thought so the first time we saw her.