the pit of my stomach

Nine years ago today, my wife awakened me at 2.30 a.m. by kind of gently punching me in the ribs and speculating, "I think my water broke." My muffled reply was, apparently, unsatisfying to her, so she said it again and I SNAPPED INTO ACTION. Suitcases, check. Cats fed, check. Boombox and CDs, because you never know how long these things are going to take, check. Call to her mother, we're out the door.

We get there, answer some questions, fill out some forms, get our room, and...well, we wait. But not for all that long. By 7.00 she was feeling it, by 8.00 really feeling it, by 9.00 it was on. Like, full on, crazy raging rhino on, actually way too fast because the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby's neck and her heart rate, displayed redly on the little beepy monitor, was dropping like it was hot. Ever screw up your courage and act like nothing is wrong when secretly you're thinking HOLY SHIT? Yeah, well, you didn't do it as well as I did, you pretender. I was so damned encouraging it was SICK. And then, bing bang boom, we had a baby. A baby girl.

The first TV show she saw was "Entertainment Tonight," there in the hospital room. Then, "The X-Files," probably not our finest moment but anon. She has always been big and smart for her age, she has always been beautiful, these are not just my opinions but the opinions of everyone we run into. She is quick-witted and sarcastic, she rocks out to Avril and Skye and Fefe and Hilary but she also has developed a taste for Sarah Vaughan and Funkadelic (surprise surprise), she just started #11 of the Lemony Snicket series tonight, she will sit and watch all 3:45 of "Lagaan" with me or she will spend hours in her room playing with her Polly Pocket dolls or she will talk on the phone to her friends or she will step up and foil the advance of some other team's striker by just tipping the ball a very little bit and then taking a step and blasting it.

She is a joy, a wonder, a running buddy, a mystery, an adversary. She is my daughter. She is nine.


In other news, here's a Mory Kante review for you. Still hitting kind of a wall with writing reviews, I think I am trying to tell myself something. Not sure what it is yet. Probably "Start writing yr damn book ye bastart."

Loving Scary Go Round and the new installment of Get Your War On. Loving "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives." Loving the new NBA season.

Guardedly optimistic about Kerry. Going to go out and canvas. Couldn't do it last weekend. Maybe I'll tell you about why I didn't sometime. Probably not though.

This has been a tough week.

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