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Sunday, March 20, 2016

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PUSSYCAT!


Yes, today is my oldest child’s birthday, she is 44 years old today! Being a person with developmental and intellectual disabilities, she doesn’t know the day is special to us, or that it is all about her. To add to the sadness, she is in a rehab center recouping from a broken leg.

44 years ago, I was a young man working in Manhattan on my first professional job. It was a Tuesday, and my wife dropped me off at the train station and reminded me she was going to the pediatrician that day. I reminded her to call me so I would be up to speed.

She's STILL my baby!
Being a new designer on a team of people with years and tons of experience, I figured I should know my place and not be intrusive in any manner. There was a weekly staff meeting on Tuesdays that was attended by the powers that be, not me. As I sat in my office, the phone rang and I was it was my wife. Picking up the phone she informs me she is on her way to the hospital, after just visiting the doctor!

I don’t know what to do! Do I bust into the conference room to announce I was leaving? Do I call the room and speak to who? I tell the secretary and she suggested a unique plan: why not let us tell your boss, meanwhile you just go? Clever!

Late morning trains for and from Manhattan is a problem, they are not as frequent, even for an expecting father. The Long Island Rail Road was an even larger one. I’m in a hurry to see my wife.

And so the journey began. If the trains were a problem, the taxi cab was a nightmare. As I descend the steps of the LIRR car, there sitting in front of me is a taxi, with the driver leaning against the car. It was the cabbie ride from Hell!

“Where ya goin?”
“To Southside Hospital, you going there?”
“Hop in.”
I hop in.
I tell the smuck I am in a hurry my wife is at the hospital as we speak about to give birth.
He nods and is driving at a leisurely and slow-motion pace. But wait, he is going a little off course, stopping at a house where a nurse gets in, then another house where another person waits for us to arrive, he is still off course as the latest rider is dropped off and still yet, another person is picked up! I am ready to explode, as it is now too late to be with my wife for the birth.
Arriving at the hospital, they direct me to a waiting room, smoked filled and overcrowded with husbands, all pacing. I sit and wait, as one by one they disappear until I am all alone. The nurse appears and tells me to go to the nursery a few floors down. I run to the elevator, and as it stops at one floor, I see this incubator rolling out and my last name on it, with this beautiful little pink face! It’s a girl! All is forgiven in the world!


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