20 years ago today
on the morning of may 8 1998, after a night of startling but bearable contractions, i arrived at the hospital believing i could probably handle a natural birth. i got about an hour into the very beginnings of serious contractions, with my husband leaning over me with coffee breath trying to get me to breathe my way through the pain, before i decided that modern western medicine in general, and the epidural in particular, were the greatest inventions in human history, worth a dozen relativity theories, polio vaccines, and apples falling on the heads of mathematical geniuses put together. once the anesthesiologist had numbed my lower half, i enjoyed a restful, talkative delivery of a baby girl, who came out howling, has been an intense and self-assured anchor in all of our lives ever since, and who turns 20 years old today. everybody thinks their child will be one who changes the world. but not everybody still thinks that when their children have finished their teenage years. eva is another story, and whether she changes the world in a big or a small way, she is the only daughter, and the only kind of daughter, i would ever want to have.
white oak leaf