Twenty one years ago, I checked myself into the local hospital to have labor induced. My son needed a kick start to get out into the world. In complete opposition to this summer's weather, the summer of 1988 was sweltering and I couldn't wait to birth that child and be done with things. He had other ideas and decided to be late. Maybe he was late because we couldn't decide on a name. On our drive to the hospital, we were still discussing the merits of our last two choices of either Matthew or Andrew as lifetime labels. In the delivery room, we named him Brian.
The hot temperatures began in April that year and didn't let up all summer. Everything about me was huge: my belly, my face, my grotesquely swollen hands and feet, and my big mouth. I don't think I ever complained so much in my life as I did during the summer of '88. The last trimester was pure misery because of the heat.
As much trouble as this tardy boy was from the beginning, he has been a joy to have in my life ever since. When he was 16 and his grandmother was ill, his grades slipped quite a bit as the importance of school began to pale in comparison to the importance of life and love. Mimi was his best friend and he was losing her. I wasn't concerned about his grades though as I caught a glimpse of the caring man he would become. He took care of her everyday needs. Every day. No task of caregiving was too distasteful, hard or embarrassing for him to do for her. It was his way of giving back to a woman who'd given him everything, but most importantly, unconditional love. In the aftermath of this, he sees to his grandfather's needs which is no easy task. He does this every day, too.
I'm proud of this young man and his accomplishments. I forgive him for being late the first time I met him, but I have to admit it's taken me 21 years to say so out loud.
Happy Birthday, Bri.