Rainy Day

It's dark out, all the lights in the house on. It's been raining since last night, the soft pitter-patter on the rooftops, lulling me to sleep and waking me again this morning. Needless to say, it was hard to get out of bed. The rain has washed away almost all the snow and the trees stand dark and bare in their wetness. I'd love to stay home all day, just curl into a corner of the couch with the reading lamp on over my shoulder. 

Over the weekend I found the baby book my mother kept about me. She was good at keep-saking and there are lots of little letters and cards and drawings stored in the front. My birth announcement, faded and yellow, is glued to an early page and my mother's hospital i.d. bracelet is taped to a near that. 

I was born in Northside Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia on May 21, 1978 at 2:41p.m. I weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was 21 1/2 inches tall. My eyes were blue and my hair was brown. 

There is a page of "firsts" on which she has recorded everything from my first smile (one month) and my first tooth (6 months) to the first time I swam in the pool without swimmies (age 4), the first time I cooked dinner for my parents (age 10), my first date (age 15) and my first checking account (age 17).

On the following pages, both she and my dad write me a letter. My mother writes:

My dearest Claire,

Your father and I watched you being born and the first thing we saw was a pretty little head of dark, dark brown hair, which caused much surprise and delight. We hadn't thought much about hair at that point, just whether you were a boy or a girl. Gerry was the first to say, "It's a girl!" which caused even more surprise and delight for i was convinced you'd be a boy. They put you on my chest, you cried a greeting, then quietly looked around, trying to take everything in. You held on to my gown with one tiny hand. Your skin was white, white, your eyes were blue, blue, your features very finely etched and very beautiful. It was a very happy day for us. Thank you for choosing us. We love you with all our hearts. 

All my love,
Sally

And my dad writes:

Miss Claire, 

I use the salutation because it connotes a lady — and you have been very much a lady coming into this world and our lives. This joy of being your father in 1978 (he was 57 years old at the time), though planned, is so much more delicious than anticipated — in so many ways. Your mother and I have quite a love affair and you have become a part of this beautiful life to the enrichment of all three of us. I have relished every day of your life through your first several weeks (but not every minute during the wee hours) and we celebrated on July 10, 1978 when you slept for 8 1/2 hours! Seriously, I love you and will happily, with your mother, give of myself to you in time, patience, and love while we learn from each other. 

All Love,
Gerry

4 comments

4 Comments

  • Wendy
    Posted December 9, 2008 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    I have to say Claire that each of those letters were beautiful and eloquent in their own way. It is easy to see where you got your way with words…it just comes naturally. You were so loved and it is clear your baby will be also!

  • Carroll
    Posted December 9, 2008 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful. Just beautiful 🙂
    Good luck with the ultrasound this afternoon — it’s sure to be exciting!

  • Posted December 9, 2008 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    That just made me cry. What a gift to have those words.

  • Posted December 9, 2008 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Wow! I am all misty-eyed sitting here in front of a room full of art students. They both express such a depth of intensity and connection with you. Their words already resonate in your own ties with your little one. I can’t wait to hear about the probably uneventfull ultrasound. But it is your little crustacean-looking jewel.

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