Friday, December 08, 2006

The Boy

Yep...that's my Mini-Me. My Sky Pilot. My Short-Round. The Boy. Skylar.

Eleven years ago tonight, I was pacing back and forth in the hallway of a hospital in St. Joseph, Michigan. A hospital I despised, because my Grandmother had died there. I was wishing for a cigarette and a bottle of Bush Mills Whiskey. More importantly...I was hoping for an "uneventful birth".

Family arrived at different intervals, given that this also happened to be the night of the first major snowstorm of the winter. Roads were nasty, snow was piling up, and before long almost everyone in both our families had gathered.

My ex-wife went into surgery around midnight, and my pacing began. Back and forth, like a 1950's Expectant Father. The only thing missing was the cigarette.

I would have given anything to have been in that room.

I had said from the beginning, when the Doctor predicted December 6th, that he would wait two days and come out on Friday the 8th. Because December 8th was the birthday of Jim Morrison, and the day that John Lennon was killed by that pasty little shit who needs to be cut into small pieces and fed to Yoko's Yorkies.

Because my child (whichever sex it turned out to be) was going to grow up with the same love of music that I did. And that particular birthday would be a pretty nifty little tie-in to a couple of my all-time favorite artists and writers.

The ex, however, teased that it would be on the 10th, Sunday. I don't remember what her reasons were if she had any. Another memory happily lost in the miasma.

Forging his own path from the very beginning, however, Skylar proved us both wrong and arrived at 12:21 in the morning, December 9th.

The weird part is that I had thought I'd won the bet. Julie went into labor around 1pm on the 8th, calling me right after our Weekly Creative Meeting. (For the longest time afterwards when I worked there, I smiled every time I heard the receptionist say "Tommie, Line 5", remembering Julie's call.) I left the radio station, smiling at winning the bet, happy he was finally arriving...and then began to freak out a little bit that the long-awaited event was finally about to happen.

After I left the radio station...all I did in the car was laugh hysterically to myself, like a madman.

11 years later. He's had a rough road, and emerged a bit salty from the divorce. But he's an amazing kid, and I'm damn lucky to be his father. His sister didn't come into my life until she was six, and I feel damn lucky to be her Dad, as well.

But someday, when I'm old, I'll try to remember the best day of my life. And there will be no question.

I'll never forget putting on that gown and hat, sitting in that chair, and having him handed to me for the first time. I'll never forget being there when Julie shook off her anesthesia so I could be the one to fill her in on him.

If I have my way, I'll never father another child. I find it hard to believe that I could possibly hit the Genetic Powerball twice in this world.

Happy Birthday, Cool Kid.


Post a Comment

<< Home