Last night, just as I was falling asleep, my husband whispered, "You know what?" Not being one to engage in talk after the lights go out, he kind of startled me. "What?" I whispered back. "If the Giants get into the World Series, it will be just like 21 years ago. Do you remember?" I squelched the urge to slug him for waking me with such a trivial announcement, but I did remember, and such a bittersweet memory.
Twenty one years ago at this time I was pregnant, overdue in fact, with my first baby. Doug and I were a young, not-at-all-worldly couple, playing house in our first home and anticipating an event, the birth of our first baby, that would turn our world upside down. Just a few days before our baby was born, we were enjoying together time, singularly focused on our nesting -- assembling a baby swing together -- while the World Series game played on the television. All at once, we were startled to realize that an earthquake had begun shaking Candlestick Park in San Francisco and Al Michaels, who was announcing the ballgame, was doing a "play-by-play" of sorts of the rattling and rolling that had stopped the game play, and seemed to go one forever, shocking fans and players.
The hours and days that followed left the country seriously shaken by the deaths, injuries, and damage that resulted from that horrendous event, as we watched on television the fires, the power outages, and the fallout from the collapse of a highway and bridge. But, because I was occupied with events going on inside my body, it is all somewhat of a fog for me. I remember being concerned because at the time I worked for the American Red Cross in media relations, and any disaster that occurred any where in the world impacted us locally, at least in media relations (because every station and newspaper wants a local angle). I had already started my maternity leave because I was overdue, and I worried that my colleagues would be swamped with one man (woman) out. I also remember going to the doctor for stress tests and ultrasounds and ultimately seeing a high-risk neonatologist who said labor needed to be induced, because the baby was running low on fluid (sounds more like a Ford than a baby!). And I remember coming home from the hospital to news footage still on the television, but being in a perfectly fuzzy postpartum world, with only my immediate world truly breaking through the fog.
San Francisco won the Pennant game last night, and if they win one more they will be in the Series this year. Hopefully there will be no natural disasters, and I know they'll be no babies born in my house. But there will be a birthday, the night before the Series begins. That little baby will be 21 years old -- so hard to believe.