But I had just seen my obstetrician a couple of days earlier. He was headed out of town and assured me that the baby wouldn't be coming until at least a week later.
Still, I felt funny enough that I figured I should pop over to the hospital and get checked out. Now, we lived in tiny little Hillsdale, Michigan, and the hospital was just one block away from our house. My husband Jack and our 25-month-old, Will, were still fast asleep. I gently shook Jack awake and told him that I felt funny and was going to the hospital. "Is the baby coming?" he asked groggily. I told him I didn't know what was happening but that I'd either be right back home or would call him from the hospital.
The hospital admissions clerk could tell that I was expecting a baby any day--it was pretty obvious, you know? She let me go up to the third floor to talk to the nurses there. On the third floor, the nurses gave me a quick check and phoned the obstetrician on call. I was in labor, all right. I distinctly remember one of the nurses weighing me and asking, "Do you not have anyone to be with you?" "Oh, great," I thought to myself. "She thinks I'm an unwed mother."
Finally I called Jack. He took Will to a friend's house and came to the hospital properly equipped with my things. And a few hours later, Preston was born: a second red-headed boy.
I should have known that day would be special.
How could I have known, though, that this boy would wow the preschool teachers with his proper use of the term "reticulated python"?
How could I have known that this boy would have open-heart surgery at age 14 and, less than four weeks later, give the St. Crispin's Day speech from Henry V?
How could I have known that this boy would, at age 16, prepare the best Thanksgiving turkey I'd ever eaten?
How could I have known that, when his father was in the hospital on Mother's Day weekend, this boy would go to a ladies' clothing shop and buy me a dress?
Jack, Preston, and me at graduation--
I'm wearing the dress Preston bought me for Mother's Day
How could I have known that this boy would be chosen by his classmates to speak at their high school graduation?
How could I have known how much a boy could capture his mom's heart in 18 short years?