As she mops the kitchen floor she thinks of that day 29 years ago cleaning the little apartment. It was Friday. She always did her "Saturday" cleaning on Friday back then so Saturday would be free if he had plans. She is one day past her due date and having contractions. They are not hard or regular. She does not time them.
She did the same thing fifteen months ago, cleaning on Friday when she was in labor before the first one was born. She scrubs, dusts and polishes while the little one plays around her feet. She thinks about the baby. She has a pink sweater packed in the little suitcase. She smiled when he said "Don't waste your time putting it in there. He is not going to wear that." She leaves it in the suitcase though the last few days she too is thinking it is another boy. After lunch she and the little one go down for a nap. The little one sleeps but she does not. The contractions are still not long or hard but enough to keep her awake. Later she hears his familiar steps on the board walk. He comes in from work and over supper they talk about the baby coming and decide to go to next town for a family birthday. She puts on a borrowed blue sparkled maternity shirt and they go. At the gathering no one knows she is in labor. While everyone else eats cake and ice cream, she disappears and curls up on sister's bed. He comes to find her and she says "I think we better go". They bundle up the little one, say their good-byes, squish in the cab of the truck and head for home. The little one fusses and she sings to him. As they go over the hill by the pines and the pond she says " We need to hurry." He drops her off at home and takes little one to auntie while she packs up a few things including the suitcase with the pink sweater. He returns. They leave to the hospital 20 miles away. As the little red car speeds through the winter night she starts blowing through her contractions. They are still not hard or regular and definitely not as close together as the doctor says they must be before you come in but she is having pushing pains. Just before halfway town he asks "If I see blue lights should I stop?" She says "I don't know." He sees blue lights and asks "Should I stop?" She says "No". The little red cars speeds on now with an escort. At the big intersection just before the hospital he slows down until he hears the siren and speeds up again saying "Thank you" to the rear view mirror. The little red car careens up hospital hill and lurches to a stop on the sidewalk in front of the emergency entrance. He leaps from the car telling the officer that leaps from his car behind them, "I have a baby right here, right now!" "Is this your first baby?" the officer asks. "NO" says he as he vanishes into the emergency room. She steps out of the car and collapses on her hands and knees with a contraction. He reappears with a wheel chair and attendant in tow. He helps her into the chair and they make a mad dash for the maternity floor. Someone calls ahead to hold the elevator. He can barely keep ahead opening doors as the attendant runs full speed behind him pushing the wheel chair. Behind her she can hear "Don't you dare push. Don't your dare push. I can handle arms and legs but not babies. Don't you dare push. Don't you dare push." They arrive breathless and she is moved onto a labor bed. She is still wearing the blue sparkled shirt. There no time for changing or the delivery room. One more contraction and one push and the baby is born. The attendant who can't handle babies stays to watch the miracle of birth but he, obeying doctor's orders, is gowning up and misses it. She calls sister and sister surprised says "I wondered when you left early." He calls auntie and she says "That was fast". In after thought they should have called half way town PD and said "It's a boy."
As she swishes the last of the dirty water down the drain she thinks that was just like he him to be born so fast, in a hurry. Always running ahead. She can see him dancing up and down, brown eyes twinkling "I beat you, I beat you. I won." Yes, baby boy, you won.
I love you bunches and baby boys - Pat