Thursday, May 23, 2013


My first-born child arrived at 4:33 on Wednesday, November 19, 1986--fifteen days after his due date.  After all those months of waiting and after twenty-four hours of labor, he was finally here.  It was well worth the wait: the minutes, hours, and days that followed were some of the happiest of my life.  I will always remember the short drive home from the hospital.  We were driving down Central Avenue in our little white Toyota, a street I'd been on hundreds of times, but I felt completely disoriented.  It seemed as though the world had changed while I was in the hospital.  As it turned out, it was my world that had changed. Every year on Ben's birthday, I'd pause at 4:33 and savor the memory of the moment he was born.  I think some years we even toasted the time with sparkling grape juice.  In recent years, due partly to the emergence of digital clocks and cell phones, a strange thing has happened.  At least two or three times a week, I happen to glance at the clock on the microwave or at the front screen of my phone right at 4:33, not at 4:32 or 4:34 but exactly at 4:33.  It happened just yesterday.  Although I've been a parent now for more than twenty-six years, I still feel a little shiver of awe every time I see 4:33.  I marvel at the way my world changed forever in just that moment, and I breathe up a prayer for my sweet boy.

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