My intention, on August 8, 2003, had been to pass my weekly NST and go back to the office. Instead, after thirty minutes or so, the resident came into the room and said, “You have a beautiful contraction pattern. We’ve called for a wheelchair to take you to Labor and Delivery.” After twelve hours of nothing followed by 10 minutes of, “Don’t push! The doctor isn’t here yet!” -Gabrielle Cait came into the world, without the doctor’s presence, just before 9pm (side note: “don’t push” is a totally useless request). She had huge eyes, blonde hair, and the cutest little nose. We could not believe our good fortune. I thought I was the luckiest mother alive.

No time at all went by. And then, a few days ago, we were walking dogs at a local animal shelter when I caught sight of a beautiful older girl in the meadow in front of us. She was walking a rambunctious puppy around the meadow, leading the dog with the unconscious grace of a natural athlete. When she caught sight of me, she yelled, “Hey Mom! This dog’s name is Butch, how cute is that? Come pet him. I love him so much, Mom!”

She is and has always been a tornado made of happy confidence, big dreams, hilarious comebacks, and untamable hair. We cannot believe our good fortune. I am the luckiest mother alive.


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