Tuesday, June 29, 2010

33 Years Ago

Thirty-three years ago today, I was putting the last rubbings of oil on the water bed frame that SSS had been building. We couldn't put a water bed in in until after our baby was born, as the midwives would not deliver babies on water beds. We had a regular mattress in the frame. The midwives had visited the day before, to make sure everything was ready. All the sheets, etc., that were supposed to be sterilized, were. The baby was due a week earlier, so we had lots of time to get prepared. So why, you might ask, was the bed not ready? For the simple reason that sterilizing things was my job and building the bed was SSS's.

In those bygone days, the technology for determining the gender of a child before birth was the stuff of science fiction. We had no idea what sort of baby we were having; the only thing we knew was that he or she was large and wiggly.

SSS carpooled to work with a couple of brothers, and they usually came in for a beer before heading home. Steve, the driver, got a bit antsy when he found out that a birth was imminent, and drove off, muttering something about the natural way to get a baby was to go to the hospital and pick it up.

Midwives arrived, along with invited guests (oh, shut up! That's the way things were done, back then), and labour proceeded apace. Our beautiful baby girl was born right after sunset, and the full moon rose to bathe us in its glow through the windows of the sun porch we used as a bedroom.

We had decided to call our baby "Robin," regardless of gender, but she did not look like somebody who should be called "Robin," so we returned to the name books for another week of perusal before settling on "Chandra" for her.

That first night, I was just in awe of the beauty and perfection of my lovely and long-awaited child.

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