On this day 29 years ago, my mother was three weeks past her due date. I should imagine she was really sick and damn tired of being pregnant. In fact, she was so sick of it that she went for a bike ride on December 27th, because her doctor had said exercise could induce labor. I can't imagine balancing a 43-week-pregnant body on a bicycle, but she did. And she went into labor.
Unfortunately, my father, who was in the Air Force at the time, was on night duty at the base. He was not free to leave his post. But he did anyway. When he got the phone call, he raced over to his commanding officer and told him he was leaving. Yup, my dad went AWOL for me (he was not disciplined for it that I know of).
He did not go AWOL in time to get home and drive my mom to the hospital, however. That task fell to my mother's father, Holy (of Burned Cabbage fame). Duchess and Holy had come to spend Christmas in Sacramento, CA, with the family and see the new baby. The new baby who had so far proved to be a stubborn pain in the ass (a bit of foreshadowing for the rest of the child's life, perhaps?) and ruined plans for a nice Christmas with the new wee one.
Duchess had to stay home with the two small children already in residence, and Holy had to drive his very pregnant daughter to the hospital. In a strange city. In a strange car. And just to make it more nerve-wracking, in the middle of a blinding snowstorm. Do you know how comfortable native New Orleanians are driving in the snow? Especially when they don't know where the hell they're going and their daughter is in labor in the passenger seat?
But he got her there. I don't think Holy had ever been so relieved to see a person as he was to see my dad when he finally arrived. And around 11:30 p.m., I was born.
The rest, as they say, is history.