So tomorrow we gear up for another fun afternoon of watching football. Super Bowl Sunday. Being football lovin' people around here, this is a big day for us, no matter who's playing.
But I can't think about Super Bowl Sunday without thinking about the best one I'll ever experience. (no, not the one when my Seahawks finally made it, although that one would have come close if they'd won.)
Sixteen years ago I was hugely pregnant and planning a hugely anticipated Super Bowl Party. Hubby and I were the first in our group of college pals to get married so we hosted the event every year, as an excuse for far flung friends to get back together. We lived in a duplex that maybe had 450 square feet of living space but we squeezed in as many people as we could and had a blast just being back together with great friends.
Daughter had just turned one at the beginning of January and her brand new brother was not joining the family until the first week of February. Since she had been two weeks late I was mentally prepared to be pregnant until just before Valentines Day.
The Saturday before the big game I made my lists. Decorations? Check. Food? Check. Dips made? Check. Everything was in place for the big shin dig.
Sometime after midnight I woke up feeling strange. Sure my belly felt kind of tight but it must be gas, I told myself. After all, this baby wasn't due for another week and wouldn't be overdue for another two weeks.
Hubby found me pacing the floor at three a.m.
"Are you okay?" It was the obvious question. "I'm fine..." was my insistent answer.
We had a party to throw in just 12 hours. Long distance friends would be on our doorstep by lunchtime. This was no time to get crazy and start thinking a baby might be ready to pop out of my body.
But by 5 a.m. I was starting to wise up. My 'gas' was now coming at regular intervals and feeling very much like the hard core contractions I'd lived through a year earlier, when Daughter was born.
By 6 a.m. Hubby was calling Marcy, our friend on call to watch daughter once our big day arrived. She asked if she had time to shower before she came over. Hubby turned to ask me the question, saw the look on my face and then turned back to tell her, "Absolutely not."
Luckily, through all my overnight pacing hours I had been keeping myself busy making more lists. Where the food was, which decorations went where, who was arriving when. And suddenly Marcy was not only the emergency babysitter, she was the instant party hostess.
Hubby and I rushed off to the hospital and within hours our sweet super bowl boy arrived. The doctor had not taken the nurses warnings seriously when they said, "She's almost ready to deliver" and breezed in wearing his leather jacket (on the way to his own Super Bowl party)that they quickly covered with a paper gown so he could catch our son like his own slippery football.
Back at the house Daughter woke up to her fun friend Marcy and then slowly her other fan club members began to show up. From her perspective, this was a day she got to be spoiled by all of her favorite people. Oh, and she happened to get a brother before the day ended.
Hubby and I were tucked in a quiet hospital room when the Super Bowl came on later that afternoon. Sweet baby boy was cradled in the crook of my leg, sleeping so peacefully, now that the hard work was done.
Because his birth had been so quick and efficient I felt amazing once the labor stopped and the baby was safely in daddy's arms. I lobbied the doctor for a chance to make it to our own Super Bowl party after all. He was grateful that he had not missed the game and after giving us a good once over and specific instructions about returning later for follow up, he let us go. On that same night.
We drove our Super Bowl baby across town to be greeted by his built in fan club. (on loan from his sister, of course) It was a surreal experience. In the dark of the early morning we had driven to the hospital as my belly squeezed and contracted. Twelve hours later we drove the same path in reverse, back home, with that baby who had shared my body on the drive over, now buckled in a car seat that made him look like a delicate doll.
One of my all time favorite pictures in our photo albums is one of our toddler daughter, in her footy pajamas, holding open the front door as her daddy lowers a car seat down to her level to show her the new member of our family. Her eyes are wide and she seems to be saying to us, "Welcome to the party mom and dad! Where've ya been? And who ya got there with ya?"
Her life would never be the same. A Super Bowl party that filled her house with people who loved her and a new lifetime playmate by the time the day ended.
So you see why I can't even say the words "Super Bowl Sunday" without thinking of my boy. Of my special Super Bowl baby who just couldn't wait to join the party.