Sunday, June 21, 2015

Diary to Emil

I am the mother of a 27-year-old man.

Here's how we both looked 27 years ago:

What a relief it was to spring him from the neonatal intensive care unit after all those weeks (he'd been 10 weeks premature).

Pages 2 and 3 of a book/letter I started writing to Emil on Oct. 1, 1988, when he was several months old.

Reading the page above, it sounds like the nurses were reporting to me as if I wasn't there with you every day, and usually more than once.

People say that having a baby will change your life, and it's true, but having your baby stuck in a hospital for five weeks sucks, and bringing that baby home makes your life feel normal. A new kind of normal, but more normal than being at the hospital for hours each day and without your newborn baby the rest of the time, and a vast improvement over everything that came before, including the pregnant months when you threw up virtually every day right till the end, and got out of bed 10 times a night to pee a tablespoon's volume, and had to heave yourself, bottom heavy, to turn over during the night.

Today is Emil's 27th birthday. Months ago he wanted to talk about it, make some plans.
"What would you like to do?" I asked. "Anything special?"
"Maybe we could go out for supper," he said. "And I'd like a birthday cake."
Not a homemade cake; no. Storebought. Chocolate. Iced and decorated. And it should say, "Happy Birthday, Emil."
He reminded me the week before this one that I had to order this cake. Then he asked me last Saturday whether I'd done it yet. That boy is a dog who loves his bones. I ordered it from the Co-op store at the beginning of the week and picked it — and Emil — up on my way home from work Friday night after a 10-hour day at the office. (Like the postmen of old, we will go to any lengths to get your paper out.)

We could go out for supper on Saturday, he suggested, and have the cake on Sunday.
Okie doke.
"We could go up to the Hendon bar for supper, like we did for my birthday last year," he thought. "That would be a good idea."
"Sure 'nuff," said I, "but the Hendon bar isn't open anymore."
"Oh well, I guess any place would be okay," he said.

Then the Wadena News came out last Monday and Scott saw the new restaurant guide on the back page. Maybe we could drive up to Archerwill, to Grandma Viv's; Emil might like that. They're having a Father's Day smorg on Saturday. I told Emil, who was all for it. I reserved a table.

Here is Emil yesterday morning, sitting at his breakfast although it was nearly noon. Like the rest of us (okay, speaking only for myself then), he likes to sleep in on the weekend.

Mr Serious. Usually he's trying to smile for the camera and looks like he's having trouble pinching off a loaf.