Tomorrow my son Court turns 34. Say it ain’t so.
Life with Court was funny from the get-go. Back in the 80s, you didn’t find out 15 seconds after intercourse whether or not you were with child. You actually had to give the doctor a urine sample. It took several days for the sample to be analyzed . Court’s dad had to work the day I went back to find out the results. It was good news! I was pregnant.
I was hugely excited as I drove down Colorado Boulevard in rush hour traffic, hurrying home to tell his dad. The car in front of me stopped suddenly, and I braked, managing to avoid rear-ending the car. The driver behind me wasn’t so lucky. She hit the back of my car. I leaped out of the car, and she got out of her car, undoubtedly expecting me to say, “I can’t believe you hit my car!” She was surprised when, instead, I said, “Guess what? I’m pregnant!” I was so excited I just had to say those words out loud to someone. I even hugged her – this total stranger who was the first one to hear my good news.
Gratified to NOT hear me go on to say that I was certain my unborn baby’s health was in danger because of the accident, she tentatively hugged me back. The good news is I did not go on to name her Court’s godmother. In fact, I didn’t even get her license plate number. My car was undamaged, as was I. But she certainly had a story to tell when she got home that night.
I remember everything about the day he was born. My due date was August 7, and like the dutiful and reliable girl that I am, I went into labor on that very day. My first twinges came as I rode the bus to work that morning. Unlike the labor you see on television where the mother goes from performing brain surgery to immediate level 10 labor pains within seconds, I experienced unremarkable contractions all morning, and went to my previously-scheduled doctor’s appointment that afternoon.
Yep, the doctor assured me. You are in labor. Your baby will come tonight. (You will note readers below the age of 40, we also did not know the gender of the baby in those days. Whaaaaaaaat? How did you plan your nursery?)
My labor was fairly bearable. Labor is labor. It ain’t swell but it generally doesn’t kill you, at least in the 20th century in a hospital. The final pushing stage was extremely difficult, however. I was certain it was because Court’s dad and I had missed the particular Lamaze lesson dealing with the last stage of labor because of a conflict. (And no, it wasn’t to visit our divorce lawyer. That came four years later Smartypantses.) It was unpleasant enough that I received flowers later that day from Court’s dad with a card that said, “I will never do that to you again.” I am dead serious. You can’t make this stuff up.
The doctor handed Court to me and as his father and as I gazed at Court, I tried to see a connection between him and us. Despite having spent nine months inside of me, he felt a bit like a stranger. And then suddenly I saw that his mouth looked exactly like his dad’s. Voila! The boy was ours.
For 18 years (and then some), he and I shared our life together. Each
summer we did three things: went to a drive-in movie, played miniature golf, and took some sort of vacation. We spent time with our family – he grew to know his aunts and uncles and cousins and Nana and Poppo, just as I had known and loved my own. He was shy with girls, and confided his “crushes” to me. (Until high school when those confidences came to a screeching halt. Thank God.) He patiently put up with
my choices for his clothes (OP surfer shorts and dorky shoes from Target) until such time as he was old enough to make his own choices (dorky baggy pants and overpriced Air Jordans).
I stuck with him as he rapped. I watched him drive away in my car the first time, just hours after getting his license. I picked him at midnight the night his car broke down by old Mile High Stadium.
Court and I were, and are, buddies. Together we picked out the house in which we lived for much of his childhood, we bought our dog Fritz, we took lots of vacations (many with his cousin BJ), we spent time with my family, and we got each other out of a variety of predicaments. We were (and are) always there for each other.
He is now a stepfather of one and a father of three. I am proud of how seriously he takes his role as husband and parent. He provides for his family and teaches his kids the importance of love, honesty and hard work. At 34, he continues to make me proud of him every single day.
Hope you have a great birthday, Son.