Road Rage - How Justice Was Metted Out in the Route 7 Corridor
Good-bye The Lion

Michael Johnson Mancinelli

Happy Birthday Mikie. 11/10/86 - 12:43:30 (exactly) AM - 7 pounds, 0 ounces, 21 inches, apgar - 10, meconium staining in the amniotic fluid, ten toes, ten fingers, wide open blue eyes and the most beautiful blond fluff on your head I've ever seen. 16 days late, shriveled like a little old man, I was twenty-two. You became the ruder of my life and I would not change a day of it. I love you and miss you and wish you warm and safe.

It started in the morning of the ninth. I squatted on the floor of the greenhouse, between the entrance to the main house and the tack room, breathing, breathing, breathing, rumbles in my bones and I communed with the planks over the dirt floor. My mother's friend, the ER nurse, took one look at my composed self and said "it won't be today". I didn't waste my energy, I was busy.

All morning, on and off, I squatted and paced and breathed and at 1 PM I wanted my mother in laws stone pancakes. I cannot explain this. We drove, your father and I, the forty miles to Stamford and arrived unannounced at your grandparents' home. Isabel made me stone pancakes and I ate them with commercial syrup that was still a novelty.

We drove home again, forty miles.

At seven in the evening I told your father that I was ready to go.  He said, "are you sure?" I said "yes, asshole" and off we went.

When we drove over the Commodore Hope Bridge we were in the left lane, I looked out the passenger window as your father drifted closer and closer to the unsuspecting station wagon in the right lane.  He said, "Heather?  Heather? Heather?" When the contraction was over I said, "Asshole, we don't go to the hospital until I can no longer walk or talk during a contraction - SHUT UP." I don't think I much care for men when I'm laboring.  Might be a fault of mine, not sure I care.

We went to the hospital and I did walk in through the emergency doors and announce that I was going to have a baby. In the birthing room at 8 PM I was only two centimeters dilated and they weren't excited but I said, no, really, he's coming. Pay attention.  Or not.

After I peed all over myself in the bathroom trying to give them some asinine urine sample they seemed to think they needed to collect in 1986 (busy work for the laboring mom?) I went back to the bed, crawled in and crossed into the borderland called Transition and promptly passed out.

I woke up and rode the waves and rode the waves and rode the waves that came and came and never went and the labor nurse said to the doctor on call, "Hey, would you look at this?" I got onto my hands and knees and he broke my water from behind like a cow about to calf and said, "Now you have to roll over again." I turned my head back and said, "really. how?"  What I am still wondering to this day is Why?

The labor nurse and your father held my shaking knees apart.  Our classes and what I read said two to four hours of pushing.  This thought is surreal.  I pushed once and the on call doc commanded "wait!" He snipped me with his manicure scissors like a six pack and your two sisters were much bigger and I never needed to be cut after so why did he cut me then? Because it was 1986.

And I pushed again and you crowned and your father was stunned and sat down on the floor and I pushed again and there, you lovely boy, you were. Mine. Always. Mine.

Happy Birthday, Mikie.

Love, Momma