Right around this time of day, 2:40 in the afternoon, thirteen years ago to the date, I was obsessively watching the clock and wondering if it could possibly be moving backwards. Z had phoned me a few hours before, saying she was right ready for the epidural now, thank you very much, but the nurses were saying she wasn't in enough pain yet. She was re-thinking her "I don't need to know about labour breathing, I'm getting the freezing" approach with the public health nurse.
The next phone call wouldn't come until midnight that night, and it wouldn't be from an exhausted Z, but from her labour coach, who would tell us "It's a girl!! And she has small hands and big feet and lots of curly hair!"
And sure enough, 13 years later, she has feet larger than mine, and lots of curly hair, and this morning we had breakfast together, and I had the privilege of painting the nails on those slender delicate hands. The Christmas letter I wrote when she was a few months old contained the line "She is light and strong and vibrant, and I just look at her and think 'exceeding abundantly beyond all that you ask or think.' "
And I still do.
Happy birthday, bright-eyed beauty.