Thirty-five years ago tonight I only had to wait another day to see Brook. Bet I can remember every detail of those 24 hours. Trust me. Memories are hard to come by these days, but I’ll bet any mother can recount her labor and childbirth sagas.
Even if, like me, it’s been 35 years and 31 years since my kids were born.
A few weeks ago I visited with a young friend and her sweet three-week-old son. Holding him, I started swaying to that inner tune that all mothers seem to hear. It just happens. New mother questions flooded back to me — was my baby making too much noise? Was she hungry? Should I nurse her? Should I hop in the car, get home as quickly as possible to feed her?
I still empathize with new mothers. We always want to have everything go right for our children, whether they’re babies or in their 30s.
Thirty-five years ago tonight we drove to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital in Hanover, N.H., in my 1972 red Toyota. That car had taken me through grad school, across the country to Montana to work in the McGovern campaign, back home to New England with a “Don’t blame me, I’m from Massachusetts” bumper sticker above the license plate. Adventures big and small. Distant memories.
But I’ll never forget getting out of that red Toyota on Sept. 24, 1977, around this time of night on a moonlit street in Hanover, N.H. Looking up at the stars.