Happy Birthday, Nicholas Karol!

It was a magical night, ten years ago. At the stroke of ten o'clock, I was hustling your big brothers and sister off to bed after having watched a Christmas special. Daddy was at the grocery store (back when there were no grocery stores in this town). Pop! I heard it and felt it--the unmistakable sound of labor beginning. Two hours until midnight. It was your due date. I never had babies on my due date. They were always late, sometimes even two weeks late. I like to be pregnant, tend to hang on. Besides, I wasn't really much into having a Winter Solstice baby. I was shooting for Christmas. You had other plans. Daddy hurried home and we left in a bustle. We'd done this enough for him to know I meant business.


This time was different, though. This time, Christian came along. Aunt Michele met us there to hang out with Christian. She brought her camera. Pictures of the moments after your birth are rare treasures that I couldn't upload very well this morning--sigh. We arrived at the Birthing Inn and we were assured that Margie (my favorite midwife) was on her way. Aunt Michele took Christian to get something to drink while we "got settled." We never got settled.



You barreled into the world a few ticks before midnight. Margie was there. Christian and Aunt Michele were not. A nurse went to find them and the cord cutting task was delayed until Christian could do it. Then, you and Christian and Daddy huddled together to brighten midnight of the longest night of the year.


And so it seems especially appropriate that the first hours of your tenth birthday--double digits!!--were marked in the quiet of the early morning with Christian and Daddy, gazing in wonder at the historic eclipse. Your life is like that--dotted with wondrous opportunities. And you notice them. You seize them. You are awake for them. Aware of them.

And I? I am ever aware of wonder of you.

Happy Birthday!