Happy Birthday

I woke up early this morning, due in part I’m sure to the end of daylight savings time. No one else was stirring, but there was evidence that my hosts had been up. I padded around the quiet house for a bit, not wanting to head out to Camille’s for my morning Media Empire session without touching base with them first. On the stove was a bowl of pumpkin seeds, scooped out of Jack-o-Lanterns the day before, waiting to be roasted.

Tara has been fighting a cold the entire time I’ve been here. I’ve felt vaguely guilty about going out with Jesse while his bride lays at home sick and pregnant, and Tara’s been feeling guilty about not being a better host. All the guilt you need, only half price! Yesterday evening we finally all went out together to a really nice Thai restaurant in Raleigh. The place earned high marks from all of us.

This morning I settled in and read for a while, but I had a hankering for broadband. I was just getting set to leave when Jesse came downstairs, looking tired. After obligatory “good mornings” and whatnot Jesse said, “Tara’s in labor.”

I’m no expert, but I suspect the Panang Beef. There was something about that delicious curry that probably set things off. Pregnant women, take note.

Jesse and I discussed plans for a while and then I headed over here. The roads were empty early on a Sunday morning, and the low sun brought out what color was left in the leaves. The grass lawns around the churches are silvered, heavy with dew. The air is still, as if the world is holding its breath. There is anticipation; change is coming to all of us, and this Indian Summer day is a chance to look back at the good times, to feel the reverberations of the season past, but also a chance to look ahead.

Apparently there’s a chance that the labor is a false alarm, or that things will go slowly, so today may not be the day. I am standing by, prepared to offer what help I can, but in general I think I can be the most help by staying out of the way. I had already planned to head out tomorrow morning, ready to embark on the last leg of my tour, one that may not really qualify as being part of the tour at all, as it will probably not involve any exploration of the continent. I simply need to get to the same city named on my plane ticket—San Francisco. I’ve got a hankerin’ for that Rice-a-Roni.

So, happy birthday, <name to be determined based on gender of child>, welcome to the world, whether today as a goblin or tomorrow as a saint.

10 thoughts on “Happy Birthday

  1. Hey, I had a great birthday … got a great present too. That adorable kid brother of ours used half of his liter allowance of duty-free alcohol to give me a half-liter of Gambrinus. (The other half-liter went to the parental units.)

    Meanwhile, since Jesse was one of the ushers when Pat and I got married, it would be way cool if his offspring ended up with my birthday.

  2. Just looked at Jerry’s most recent round of photos. Interesting comparing Jesse now with the Jesse from the wedding photos. Our own offspring has become deliriously derisive about how ridiculous we look in the old photos of our wedding. (Yes, Pat did look utterly silly, but Gerald’s not allowed to say so.)

  3. It’s Nov 1st. 7:45AM. The birth of my first child is still unresolved. We’ve already been to and returned from the hospital. A dead-of-night, inconclusive excursion. They remind us that first borns are stubborn. We will most likely return later today, when the labor is even more serious than “10.” Like the guitarist in Spinal Tap who’s amplifier goes up to 11. So we are back in time for the sadness of seeing one of my best friends leavin. It was really great having him here. I understand why he tries to leave without goodbyes – it is as hard on us as it is on him. I watched him drive down the street at 7:35 – AM – EST; it’s the one photograph not in his assorted, online albums, the shot of him in his car, arm out the window, heading into adventure, looking foreward, not back. But the one photo we readers record in our minds. Farewell ramblin man. Kick ass in Prague. I’ve got to get some sleep.

  4. Jess & Tara,

    Hang in there. It’s way better to have a doctor who’s willing to wait for Nature to take her course than to have an impatient doctor who speeds things along. The main reason Gerald’s an only child is the impatient doctor who wouldn’t wait for Nature. Excess scar tissue is a bad thing.

  5. I have a new episode to put up, but the hotel is having problems with their WiFi. You’ll all just have to wait.

    Meanwhile, I’m imposing a voluntary media blackout on myself today. I just can’t bear to watch the election returns. Wake me up when it’s over.

  6. As of this writing, I believe a tie is still possible based on the states that are still too close to call. If Bush gets Ohio and Kerry gets the other three, a tie would result.

    Alas, since the republicans control both houses the really silly scenarios won’t happen even if there’s a tie. Oh, well.

  7. Three days later, and guess which state is still “undecided.” I bet somebody’s scouring the cemeteries of Rio Arriba County for more absentee ballots.

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