Wednesday, January 19, 2011

this day

I hope my youngest girl is having a good birthday. She’s twenty six today and working a long day at her Chicago firm. Her closest people cannot be there with her. It’s a curse to have a birthday on Wednesday and to have everyone so far away. No one can ignore their own work to travel there and spend the late hours of the day with her.

It’s cold in Chicago, as it is in Madison. I should know, I paced the bus stops and reminded myself that next time I need to study schedules carefully. There’s no reason to show up at a stop a minute after a good bus has passed and fifteen before the next one rolls along.

You, who do not live in the Midwest, probably haven’t any idea what a bitter cold world it is up here. Let me help illustrate it – on my walk from the bus stop to school (what lovely soul thought to build a snowlady in back of our building?):


...and this, just steps away from the stop where I wait for the bus home:

DSC05209 - Version 2

I know my little one is warm. Her office has heat after all. Just as the hospital was warm for her when she finally decided to make an appearance so many winters ago – on a January 19th that was, that year, the coldest day since records have been kept.

At the Law School I ran into a colleague who commented that I looked tired. I thought for a second and I admitted that I was that. I’d gone to bed late and gotten up significantly before dawn to do work. And after a class, followed by office hours, I need a short spell to recover. I was in that spell.

Maybe I’m just bracing for the cold – I noted.

I don’t mind the cold – she said. I hate the wind. It would suit me just fine if no one ever again mentioned a wind chill. It freezes me just to think it. I hate the feel, and even the sound of the wind!

I thought – I could never hate a cold, wind chilled day so much. My girl was born when it dropped to a negative fifty degrees (F), if you considered the wind. Her doctor came in especially to deliver her, even though it was his day off. Might as well – he told me. Can’t do much of anything else on a day like this.

I hear he retired from practice, sold his home in Madison and moved to live on a boat on the Caribbean. I hope going out to deliver my girl wasn’t what pushed him to finally leave his practice. He was such a good doctor!

Happy birthday, little girl!