Eight years ago, the 4th of May, 1999 fell on a Monday. I was working in Detroit at the time, and mid-evening, around 8:30, I got a pager message from Jill, which I promptly returned. The news was horrifying -- Jill told me that she thought she was going into labour -- five or six weeks earlier than expected.
The client, and my colleagues, all knew this eventuality could happen. After the initial shock and fear, I proceeded to withdraw from the project and made my way home via a Detroit-based airport limo company -- basically the most expensive cab ride of my life.
Enroute, a couple of additional phone calls kept me in touch with Jill's progress -- she had been taken to the hospital by our friend Pam, and was definitely in labour. And it was as painful as expected.
Starting from the Holiday Inn where I was staying in the outskirts of Detroit (ten minutes from the Ambassador Bridge) it was just under four and a half hours to my front door. Including the time necessary to drop off my suitcase, change, pick up some additional items for Jill which had been forgotten, and order a cab, I managed to walk into Jill's hospital room by 6:30am on the morning of Tuesday, May 5th. The worst part of her labour had already begun.
Two hours later at 8:26 in the morning, Jill gave birth to our son.
That was eight years ago. Yesterday, while parts of the world celebrated Cinco de Mayo, or Children's Day, we celebrated Corwin's eighth birthday -- by visiting the beach, playing Warcraft 3 in an internet cafe, and coming home to enjoy a home made pizza (pepperoni and mushroom).
Between the beach and the internet cafe, at lunch, Jill took this photo:
You will note that between last summer and this spring, my son succumbed to the heredity bequeathed to him by both his parents -- he needed to have glasses. As more years pass, I expect, based on my own experience, that his near-sightedness will increase.
It astounds me that so much time has elapsed from those first hours after his birth to now.