Thirty-three years ago today I gave birth to my one and only daughter. When labor began I was working in the "field" like a country peasant. My maternity jeans (actually they were a hideous imitation of my favorite Levis) were rolled up to a very stylish Capri length and my feet were bare--and muddy.
Six weeks earlier we moved into a new home in Naperville, Illinois. The builder included sod in the front yard, but my then husband was not a skilled negotiator, and I was too pregnant to care, so we accepted the back yard bare.
My two year old had a great time playing in the "big dirtbox" with his toy cars and trucks, his dad had a new job and was never home, but I was determined to turn that backyard dust bowl into the Garden of Eden before spring showers turned it into a giant mud pie.
Money was tight and sod was out of the question. The builder gave me the name of a man who would seed it for a few hundred dollars, after that I was on my own. I thought spring showers would come to my aid, but it was an unusually dry spring. I invested in hoses and oscillating sprinklers to fill in where Mother Nature let me down.
Sunrise found me positioning the sprinklers in preparation for the traveling shower show I ran throughout the day. The sprinklers had to be moved at regular intervals and the yard was large. I watched for puddling (too much water) and dry spots (no bare spots allowed) and quickly remedied both. Soon tiny green sprouts greeted my seeking eyes.
The lawn, yes I could call it that now, was bursting forth with new life, and so was I. On April 14, 1976 I was in the yard positioning sprinklers, watching my two year old marvel at the yet uncut new grass when the first pang of labor rose up through my body. I washed the mud off my feet, showered and six hours later gave birth to my daughter. It was a happy birth day; and today I wish you a happy birthday.