On her son’s third birthday, my friend Kami Lewis Levin wrote a touching letter to him, one that I would never think of trying to duplicate. Instead, let me do my best to describe for you the birth of the younger of my two sons, Jackson Hanno Fuchs, born on this date, May 7, six years ago, in 2005.
It was a Sunday morning, the day Jackson decided to make his first entrance. I say “decided,” because when he was ready, he was ready. Unlike his older brother, who made us wait all day, before deciding to come swimming out into this world, Jackson was very nearly born in the front seat of my car, which I ditched facing the wrong way on a one-way street, in a no parking zone, in front of Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn.
The unsympathetic, condescending nurses who greet us insist that Jeanette is incorrect when she tells them, “I’m going to have this baby right now.”
“No you’re not, sweetheart. You’re fine. Come on in here to triage, so we can see what’s going on.”
They lay her down on the table in the triage room and upon a quick examination concur that she is, in fact, going to have this baby now.
“Right this way,” they say in urgent tones.
“No wait, this room’s taken.” (I catch a glimpse of an Asian woman, sweating, panting and screaming and once again am amazed at the biological imperative that has women put themselves through this more than once.)
The next room down is free, and the midwife we’ve met with during our pre-natal visits is there, waiting for us. Before we can greet each other, they are lifting J up onto the bed, and that’s when I hear the crying. Our second son, Jackson Hanno Fuchs, has landed safely in the midwife’s hands, at the exact moment his mother touches down on the delivery bed.
And thus, a baby boy -- and his personality -- was born.
I am thankful for his impatient, action-seeking nature. He brings excitement and humor into my life each and every day. He is a true original, and his is the kind of a smile that charms an entire room, like my father’s did. Many will clamor to become the beneficiary of that smile. The fact that I am able to see it on a daily basis leaves me feeling blessed, if sometimes “challenged,” to put it lightly by the sheer force of his one-of-a-kind personality.