I turned 51 today. My wife and I were in Canada for the weekend and I woke up my usual early time I'm much more of a morning person than she is. It looked like it was going to be a better than average (for me) birthday but by mid-morning, I was missing a phone call I knew I wasn't going to get.
You see, my mom (who passed away this past February) and I had a sweet and curious birthday tradition. Every fifth of October she'd call me on the phone to tell me the story of my birth. I'd listen quietly and intently each year even though I knew the details from my previous birthday.
Our conversation would usually go something like this:
"You were a very easy birth," she'd say. "You can thank your older brother for that."
"It was early in the morning. We were living in the apartment in Hamden and I woke up and knew it was time," she'd continue. "I tapped your father to wake him up. 'Al,' I said. 'It's time to go.'"
"Ok," she would say he said. "I'll make us some coffee."
"No, Al. We have to go now!"
"Ok, let me put on my suit."
"No, Al. Now."
And so they went to the hospital for my very easy birth.
I heard that story every year for more than 20 years - until this morning. And I missed it.