If you haven’t read it already, do pick up a copy of “The Day You Were Born” by Debra Frasier. My daughter’s godparents gave us the book when she was born, and it is sweet and awesome and makes me cry every time I read it.

When she was just a wee mite, Abby got her hands on her gift and made me cry again when she ripped the pages out to glue to her wall. I couldn’t blame her: the pictures are beautiful. I thought about Frasier’s classic again when Abby’s little brother was born, 18 years ago this month. With apologies to the author, for Sam on his birthday:

On the eve of your birth

I lay on my side, counting contractions

Hoping that my doctor was wrong

When he said you’d weigh nine pounds.

On the day of your birth

I told your father

And he told the admissions clerk

And she told the nurses

And they told the doctor

While I told the anesthesiologist

That I needed an epidural


On the day of your birth

I pushed and it feels like you pulled

And we did that for hours

Until you finally emerged

And the doctor told the nurses

And the nurses told your father

And your father told me

That the doctor had, in fact, been wrong

Because you were, in fact, TEN pounds

And from that day forward we called you

The Great Giant Head.

On the day of your birth

I lay exhausted

Not from the effort of delivering you

But from the effort of restraining myself

From being rude to your father when he turned to me and said,

“That wasn’t so bad!”

And it wasn’t, at least not for him.

On the day of your birth

I knew that you had the reddest hair I’d ever seen.

On the day of your birth

I did not know

That eighteen years later

I would be able to talk to you for hours about everything under the sun

Because you would be interested in everything under the sun

Because The Great Giant Head can apparently hold more than ten pounds of information.

On the day of your birth

I did not know

Anything about having a baby boy

I did not know that you would watch Star Trek movies with me for hours on end

I did not know that you would draw prize-winning cartoons during Chemistry class

I certainly did not anticipate that you would keep drawing during Chemistry class in summer school.

Please stop doing that.

On the day of your birth

I did not know that at age two you would be able to name all the planets

I did not know you would soon know the Latin names of all the plants in the desert

I did not know that you would play Risk with me for hours

I did not know that you would teach me to play Civilization Revolution

And that you would declare war on the Chinese when I had specifically asked you not to.

On the day of your birth I obviously didn’t know much

I only knew I loved you.

Which as it turned out, was all I needed to know.

We’re so glad you’re here.

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Elizabeth Evans can be reached at elizabethann40@hotmail.com. Her column appears monthly.

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