Tell Me Again About My First Months of Life

Before my son was born, my husband and I bought a couple of children's books that we could read to him.  I specifically wanted Jamie Lee Curtis' "Tell Me Again About The Night I Was Born" written in 1996.  The little girl, who happens to be adopted wants to know all about what happened the night she was born.  It is a simple tale and a beautiful one which addresses adoption, but doesn't make it a big deal.  I read it to our son many times, modifying it so that it fit our situation.  (In the book, the girl's parents board a plane to get to their destination; we drove.)  Not to steal too much from Ms. Curtis, as today marks the 11th anniversary of the day when our son legally became ours, I present:  Tell Me Again About My First Months of Life.

  • Tell me again about the night before I was born.  How you and daddy where asleep when the phone rang.  How you tried to see the caller ID and daddy cried out:  "You know who it is, just pick up the phone!"
  • Tell me how they told you I was on my way and that you should head out in the morning because it was going to be a long night.  Tell me how you and daddy couldn't sleep, so daddy walked to the ATM at the bank and you did laundry.  How you called a bunch of hotels but only the Holiday Inn answered the phone and promised you a room for as long as you would need.
  • Tell me again how you watched endless "Frasier" reruns because you couldn't sleep...until you finally did.  And when you woke up daddy was snoring and after getting dressed, you had to wake him up because he was still asleep!
  • Tell me again how you called my grandparents from the road to let them know I was on my way.
  • Tell me again how the agency called you and told you I had arrived and you didn't know what to do, so you kept driving and daddy made phone calls; even calls to people he didn't know.
  • Tell me again how you had to drive for over an hour before you finally got to a rest stop that was open so that you take a few minutes to process what was happening (and go to the bathroom).
  • Tell me how you drove and drove and drove and how you thought you'd never get there.
  • Tell me again how daddy made you stop at McDonalds and eat before going to the hospital because he knew you wouldn't if he didn't make you.
  • Tell me again how nervous you were when you went to the hospital.  How you had to meet with nurses and social workers when all you really wanted to do was meet me.  And when you finally did you knew we were a family.  
  • Tell me how daddy did all the work of feeding and changing me because he was going to be the one at home with me.  Tell me how one of the nurses got you a snack tray of fruit, crackers and juice and how that turned out to be your dinner
  • Tell me again about how loud the air conditioner was in the hotel room so you turned it off when you went to sleep and woke up around midnight in a sweat.  Tell me how you changed rooms in the middle of the night to the only other unoccupied room and after you got settled in you realized that you'd left your cell phone in the first room and had to go get it.
  • Tell me again about my second day and how you hung out all day with me in the "Day room."  How you ordered pizza from Dominos because they delivered.  How you had to watch a horrible video on shaken baby syndrome. 
  • Tell me again about my third day when they moved you to an actual "room" and how unhappy I was that day.  How I cried and cried.  How the two of you took a mid-day break and went to BJs to get a huge box of diapers.  How when you left that night you were more scared and nervous than you had ever been.
  • Tell me again about my fourth day when you were finally allowed to take me "home" to the hotel.  How my birth mom and her family came to see you off.  How everyone hugged and tried not to cry.
  • Tell me about the drive to the hotel with daddy in the back seat with me and mommy driving slowly to be safe, but all she wanted to do was speed to get there.
  • Tell me again about how daddy and I fell asleep together on the top of the bed; me all swaddled up.  How mommy walked to the nearby grocery store to get supplies even though she didn't know what she'd need.
  • Tell me again how every time you fed me, you'd turn on the tv and Ursula Andress would be walking out of the water in Dr. No because AMC was having a James Bond marathon, but every time you watched it was the same point in Dr. No.
  • Tell me again about how the diapers you got were too big and kept leaking, so mommy had to run and do laundry.  And on one of her trips back up the hall she saw a mini-fridge in a supply closet, so she went in and "borrowed" it, carrying it down the hall and back to our room.
  • Tell me again how the dashboard light went on in the car, so mommy took it to the local dealership and sat there and waited while it was fixed, until one of the staff offered to drive her back to the hotel.  When it finally was ready how she walked back.  Feeling guilty, she forced daddy to go to hotel restaurant for a quiet meal.
  • Tell me how daddy decided it was time to go home for real before we got the official call that we could.  Tell me how you packed up the car with daddy yelling that everything would not fit! How daddy arranged boxes and bags and stuffed things in tighter than a Tetris game.
  • Tell me how we left as the sun rose that morning.  How there was a note from the night manager (who had gotten us the room) for us at the front desk which made you cry.  How you drove for an hour before you made daddy fill up the car with gas so you wouldn't have to stop again and how gas was so much more expensive ($2.45) than it was at home.
  • Tell me again how half way through the trip we stopped at a Holiday Inn Express so you could change me and feed me.  How daddy took me into the men's room to change me but there was no changing table, so he laid a towel on the floor.  How the lights were on a motion sensor so the room went dark while he was in the middle of it and how he stood up and waved his arms to get the lights back on.  How you fed me in the lobby with the Today show on in the background.
  • Tell me again how we were only an hour or so from home when we hit a traffic jam and how happy you were to have XM radio so that you knew how long we'd be stuck.  (Which wasn't too bad after all.)
  • Tell me again how when we pulled in to our driveway, Grandpa Steve was mowing his lawn.  He was sweaty and dirty and wouldn't get near me.  But he did carry EVERYTHING in from the car for you.
  • Tell me how I spit up everything after mommy fed me after we arrived home.  How mommy held me close so that it would get on her and not the love seat.
  • Tell me again how Grandma Betsy rushed up from the shore to see me and hold me.
  • Tell me again how Aunt Julie came over late that afternoon and blessed me.
  • Tell me again about our first visit to the doctor's office and about how nervous you were (again).  How the office staff oohed and aahed over me.
  • Tell me again about how Grandma Marcia came and never wanted to let me go.  And how Grandpa Mikey seemed nervous holding me.
  • Tell me again how various neighbors came to visit.  How Mrs. Pratola was the first bringing a baby plate and cup for me.  How Mrs. Huze insisted that a bouncy chair was an essential; and bought us one to prove that she was right.  How Mr. Scanlon came over and asked if it was ok if he mowed his lawn that morning because he didn't want to disturb me.
  • Tell me again about how Great Grandpa Murray held me close. And how whenever he talked about me he would always start off with "those eyes!"
  • Tell me again about my first trip to church.  How mommy parked in Andy's parking space and he greeted us and made it all right.  How we sat in the back because mommy was afraid I might cry out, but I didn't.  How proud mommy was to show me off to everyone who wanted to see me. (Everyone wanted to see me!)
  • Tell me again about the stuffed turtle and turtle quilt that I received and how turtle became my best friend.  You listened for the turtle rattle noise and would know that I had woken up in the mornings.
  • Tell me again about my first trip to the NJ shore when mommy drove me all by herself and was a nervous wreck.  How daddy stayed home and slept all weekend and mommy woke up in the middle of the night and realized that she needed to feed me only to find Grandma Betsy already doing it.
  • Tell me again about my first Halloween and how you didn't dress me up, but had a special first Halloween onesie for me.  How town firetruck came when you were feeding me because the neighbor's had not put water in their boiler and it overheated nearly causing a major fire.
  • Tell me again about my first Thanksgiving and how I sat on Grandpa Steve's lap and watched the football game, but seemed more interested in the cheerleaders.
  • Tell me again about the day I was baptized.  How Grandma Marcia had broken her hip and couldn't be there.  How you struggled to get me into my little shirt, pants and vest and decided to forgo any shoes (me feet would never touch the ground anyway.)  Tell me how Pastor Spencer had come to visit us several weeks before and while holding me, I'd spit up on him.  Tell me how it was Aunt Julie who actually baptized me that morning and I didn't spit up on her.  Tell me how everyone came to congratulate us.  How Grandma Betsy and Grandpa Steve had a reception at their house.  How exhausted we all were after.  And how I came down with a cold that week.
  • Tell me about my first Christmas where neither of you wanted to do much more than sleep.
  • Tell me about my first "solid" foods and how you waited until January 2nd to test out the rice cereal because you wanted to make sure the doctor was in if anything went wrong (which it didn't.)
  • Tell me how you tried to teach me to crawl while the Winter Olympics were on, but I wasn't much interested.
  • Tell me how Grandma Betsy's Alma Mater, Bucknell, made it into March Madness that year and how Grandpa Steve, daddy and I all wore our orange and blue to watch the game.
  • Tell me again about this very important day.  About how long it took us to get here because the courts were busy.  About Grandpa Steve driving with us down to the courthouse.  How we waited in the hall until we were called.  How mommy answered all the questions Judge Cohen asked and when it was all finished the judge asked if we wanted a photo.  How all my grandparents celebrated once we got home with champagne and cake.  About how nervous Grandpa Steve had been about this day, but no one had ever told us.  About how hot it got that day and how friends dropped by throughout the day to celebrate with us even though it was a week day.
Tell me again, about all these things and more.  Tell me again and again because I know you love to tell the story of our journey together.


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