Friday, March 6, 2009

It's Been a Big Week for the Babies

1. Tuesday

At 2:40 PM, after they had filled out evaluation forms in which they undoubtedly trashed me and the English language and everything I attempted to teach them about writing over our half-semester course, my class of auto students walked out the door. They threw their portfolios into a sloppy stack and breezed past me with barely a word.

I had no words for them either. Usually I make a speech on the last day--something about how it's been my pleasure, my good fortune to have these students in my class--but I'm not a liar, so I didn't say anything to them but goodbye.

2. Wednesday

At 10:35 AM, the phone call came in. It was Ex-Keith.

"Hello!" he said.

"Hello!" I said.

"Did you get the picture?" he asked.

I did not get any picture, and I told him so. Then it occurred to me what he might be sending me pictures of. "HOLY GOD!" I shrieked in a tone that was certain to carry through my office, past all my tacked-up news articles about Ryan Miller and pictures of Katy with her nose chalked blue, out into the hallway, and into surrounding classrooms. "DID YOU GUYS HAVE THE BABY?!"

"Last night!" Keith said. "I've got pictures."

His son was born at 10:30 PM, two weeks early, weighing seven pounds exactly.

"He's not a crier," Keith said. "He doesn't cry."

"He's no sissy," I said.

"He knows my voice," Keith said. "I talked to him a lot during the pregnancy. Now anytime he hears my voice in the room, he twists around to find me."

"You have a very distinct voice."

"He cries when I leave the room," Keith said.

"He's already smart enough to miss you," I said.

"He's a talker. He makes all of these great little sounds. Mee! Mee!"

"And are you going to let me hold him?" I asked. "I'm coming home in a few days. Can I hold him?"

After Keith and I started talking again, after I called to end our annual fight, I told him I was sort of hoping the baby came just a smidge early. If the baby came early--like, say, when I was home for spring break, I'd be able to come see him. The timeline of events definitely worked out in my favor.

"Yeah, you can hold him," Keith said. Then he sighed. He sounded tired, sounded beat, sounded absolutely over the moon. "Everyone's so happy," he said. "It couldn't be better."

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