Monday, April 09, 2007

My Daughter Is 10 Today

April 9, 2007, and my daughter Madeleina turned 10 today. Or, as she put it, "I'm double-digits, dad."
Anyone who has ever been a father or mother will attest that the time flies. I mean flies. It wasn't two weeks ago--it seems--that I was downstairs from our 90th street and 3rd Ave apartment in New York City, having a drink with a friend at Richters at about 11 PM when Chepa called on the house phone to say her water broke and I should get her to the hospital, quickly.
I raced upstairs while pals at the joint hailed and held a cab, got Chepa downstairs and we were off to Lenox Hill Hospital.
Inside we went to Maternity and she was given a bed. Someone called her doctor.
The room was not well lit, just a sort of waiting room. Chepa was having contractions but they were a ways apart. I thought she might be hungry so excused myself and went to the corner and got her a couple of cheeseburgers. When I got back, probably 10 minutes, you could just see the crown of our baby's head beginning to make it's move.
The doc arrived and we waited as the contractions got closer. By about 2 AM it was push time and by about 2:15 or so she started to emerge. The doc told me to reach down there and pull her out. I said not a chance. He said he was drunk and was in no shape to do it. (I think he was just lying to force me to get my hands dirty.) So I did it. I got her out a very little at a time because I didn't want to pull anything too hard. And as she came out I expected her to be looking at the floor: To my surprise she was looking straight up at me. Halfway out and her eyes were open and looking right at me, through me, and she said, as clearly as if you said it to me today: "hep...hep...hep..." and I swear I know she was trying to say "Help. Help. Help."
And I started to cry because I knew what she wanted. She wanted to go back inside. Wanted to say she'd made a mistake in deciding to leave spirit and take on flesh for a lifetime. And now that she felt her first air, felt her first human contact, saw those bright cold lights and heard us talking she wanted no part of it. But it was too late, of course. So I just cried and told her I was sorry but that we'd try to make it a pretty good life for her.
And then we got her all the way out and the doctor took her and the nurse handed me scissors and I cut the cord and Chepa was crying/laughing on the bed and I was told to let Chepa kiss her for a minute, then carry her to the tray with the heat lamp for jaundice. And I swear that 20 foot walk carrying that absilutely see-through angel was the hardest walk of my life. The floor was covered in cables and I didn't think I could step over them.
I did and didn't drop her.
And she turned 10 today and I know I've made a million mistakes, yelled at her, been a jerk over the years. All mixed in with a lot of love, but so far from perfect as a dad it's scary. And I promised her a pretty good life and I don't know if I've given that.
But she's still my angel and she turned 10 at about 3:09 last night.
It still feels like just two weeks ago to me.
I love you, Madeleina. Thanks for being my kid.
Dad

2 comments:

Lightworker said...

Peter,
I've read some of your earlier blogs but I must say that this one and the one before have touched me most.
Several years ago, I experienced a past life regression session where I went back to the moment just before my birth into this current life time. I saw myself turning away and trying to run away from my birth because I did not want to come into this world.
I wonder is this is what we all go through - we decide what lessons we want to learn in each life time, and when the moment of "re-entry" takes place, we experience a momentary "weakness" or fear...

Peter Gorman said...

Thanks, Lightworker. I don't have an answer, of course, but once, on ayahuasca, I shot up into a womb. And as I traveled up that marvelous tunnel I realized I began feeling less and less sensually and knowing more and more until when I hit the back of it and it shut behind me--that was the first moment I realized the tunnel had been a cervix and i was in a womb--I realized that I knew everything. Everything. But I couldn't feel anything. And then I began to emerge, and as I did I began to feel the warmth of those fleshy tunnel walls again and it was wonderful, but at the same time I realized I was forgetting thinks I'd known and by the time I emerged I realized that the only think I knew what that I'd forgotten all knowledge, and I screamed with my new ability to make noise--and was reborn, a knowledge-less angel with the ability to touch. That was a tough one.