Seventeen years ago, we had given up on there being a new kid. No grandchild, no niece, no nephew. He or she was just a little more stubborn than we were, and so we decided to go about our lives as if there was no baby. We had lost our collective patience and figured life should just go back to normal.
What was normal? How about a trip to Wendy's? That sounds completely natural. Maybe a baked potato, or nice triple thick Frosty? There was some discussion of the pregnancy that seemingly would not end. Having dairy products just before a delivery might create some additional distress - but heck, this kid wasn't coming anytime soon so why should it matter?
The meal was pleasant enough, but on the way out to the car I was holding the door for my sister-in-law who made the only face I had seen her make during gestation. She stopped in the doorway of Wendy's and my brother came up and asked her this question: "Are you alright? I'm not in your body - you have to tell me what's going on."
Her response: "You were in my body nine months ago. That's the problem." A little harsh, but in hindsight, completely forgivable. We sat in the parking lot for a while, trying to decide a course of action. Why not just continue with our day as we had planned, since there was still no conclusive evidence of the baby's grand entrance that day. We went on to the movie theater.
We went to see "Working Girl" starring Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford. We walked in and found our seats. Some friends of mine met us there and we all sat down to enjoy the frothy little romantic comedy. Somewhere in the first act, there was a sudden lurch to my left where my sister-in-law was sitting. My brother turned to me and asked if I could get a ride home from my friends. I turned to ask, but when I looked back, the incipient mother and father were gone.
I went home and waited by the phone. A few hours later I got a call asking me to come and meet my new niece. I could hear her new voice being exercised in the background.
Seventeen years later, I uncover this tiny bit of trivia to add to the day: Kevin Spacey had a small role in "Working Girl" playing "Bob Speck." Happy Birthday - and may I suggest a family lunch at Wendy's to celebrate?