Friday, April 11, 2008

Just Your Basic Crazy Update

Well, Madeleina had her 11th birthday and surely got more than three presents. The boys looked at the air-hockey table full of wrapped things, some of which they'd bought for her, and were definitely disgruntled. "What is it, Christmas?" "Why does she get so many presents?" and so on.
Well, because she's a girl and she's my baby, that's why. One of the best, from my point of view, was that we restrung the tree swing out on the great big sycamore that's held together by a double wrap of chain from where lightning hit it some years ago. When we got this place the chain was tight on the split trunk; now it's embedded an inch deep. But I love that swing I made. Just a 2 X 10 with four corner holes hanging from a 14' branch by white cotton rope, but when we first moved here that was the thing that made Madeleina and the boys feel like the yard, and by extension the house, was ours, and not just a place we'd been forced to move to.
And of course, on her birthday Madeleina asked me to tell her again what it was like when she was born and I explained that mom was upstairs in the third floor apartment with Marco and Italo and I was downstairs in Richter's bar having a drink when she called to say her water broke and I should get her to the hospital. The fellows at Richter's got a cab, I called Chuck to have him come watch Marco and Italo and then got Chepa down to the cab and over to Lenox Hill Hospital. Her doc was alerted and said he'd be there in an hour. Chepa was put on a bed to wait it out. She was having contractions pretty quick but was still hungry so I dashed across the street and bought her a hamburger from a good little joint I liked. When I returned you could just see the very top of Madeleina's head starting to make a move.
Chepa didn't eat much of the burger.
The doc came finally and in about 30 minutes so did Madeleina. To my complete surprise she came out face up and with her eyes open. And once her little head was free she looked straight at me and said "Hep.Hep" and I swear I thought she was saying "Help. Help." and I started crying and I had to tell her I couldn't help. That she was a spirit who had chosen flesh and now that she felt the first air she'd ever felt and saw lights through human eyes she wanted to go back inside, wanted to change her mind but I couldn't help her do that. I told her she was basically stuck here in this foreign place for the next 70-years but that I'd try to make some of those years pretty good ones.
The doc thought I was crazy talking that way to a baby he'd thought only burped, but I knew what was really going on. And Chepa was crying with delight, not only for having a beautiful healthy baby but because the pain was done. And then the doc had me cut that umbilical cord and told me to walk my baby across the room and put her under the heat lamp and I swear that was the longest walk of my life, holding that brand spanking new baby and being terrified my legs would give out and I'd drop her.
I didn't of course.
"I love that story, dad," Madeleina said. "I especially love that you're always crying when you tell it. If I told my friends how much you cry about things they'd think you were crazy, you know that?"
I suppose they would.

2 comments:

Arbol said...

WoW...Thanks Peter. That was wonderful. Spirit in Flesh. made me choke a bit, thinking of whats to come.

YbaS said...

Just one world...Wonderful