Tuesday, November 09, 2010


In 1979, exactly 31 years ago today, it snowed.

I know that for a fact because I woke up that morning, looked out my hospital room window, and there it was. All over the ground—winter.

A nurse came in and encouraged me to get my lazy butt out of bed and clean up a little. Evidently, there was some arcane hospital rule about lying around in the same sweaty pigtails in which I had given birth the day before.

The nurse dug my maroon embroidered robe out of the bag I had packed for the hospital, trotted me down the hall to the shower room, and transformed me from a bedraggled-looking new mother into an ethereal creature with a striking resemblance to the Virgin Mary.
The day before, I had passed out on my hospital bed in a post-partum exhaustion, drool pooling on my pillow, when Tom came back into my room to see if I was awake. He had something important to tell me.

He had been studying our new baby very carefully, very thoughtfully, while she slept in the hospital nursery.

“I think she’s gifted,” Tom told me, as seriously as I’d ever seen him.

“Wha—what?” I asked groggily. “Gifted? How can you tell?”

“Well,” he said solemnly, “to begin with, she’s much more alert than those other babies in the nursery.”

“Good,” I yawned, “she’s alert. Anything else?”

“Well, she got that perfect score . . .” Tom reminded me, trying to appear modest.

Score? Score? What score?

Then it dawned on me. The APGAR score—Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, Respiration—the APGAR test that they administer to newborns to make sure they aren’t experiencing post-delivery distress. Our new daughter had scored a perfect “10.”

Her first test, and she had aced it. She was gifted.

I smiled. “I wouldn’t be surprised if she is,” I agreed.

And 31 years later, we know it for a fact.

She is.
Tom with his “gifted” daughter


Dana @ Bungalow'56 said...

You brought a tear to my eye darn you!

And no I'm not on the computer all the time, your new posts show up on my sidebar, and I was checking my email. Not feeling defensive, no, not at all.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Mom. Could you put this post in my scrapbook? Also, I'm still waiting for Dad to figure out what exactly I'm gifted at! love, s.

Anonymous said...

I am now waiting to see what you are going to write about your other children on their birthdays--to keep things fair you know--in the HEXUM way. Grandma Nettie

2to4aday said...

Dana: Didn't mean to make you cry--and yes, I know you don't sit by your computer for hours at a time, waiting for me to post a blog. As much as I would like it if you did . . .

s:I'll put this in your scrapbook right next to your "Good Penmanship" award from 4th grade.

Grandma Nettie: Absolutely right! I'm not giving birthday gifts to any of my children this year--just a blog in their honor. Presents are highly overrated--I'm sure they'll agree.

Anonymous said...

And a precious gift she is! As they say ginger and spice and ohhh so nice. Be proud, be very proud of all your kids.