Exactly 22 years ago, Carmen and I ate a pizza. It was a night just like tonight. Not quite summer. Not quite autumn. I was 9 months and 11 days pregnant. There had been an earthquake in Mexico. My lovely Jewish neighbor made me a special soup to bring on labor. Yet, nothing seemed to rouse the spunky little boy who was cuddled inside of me. Funny thing, for months before that, he made his presence known. In the beginning, he was the reason why the traffic cop at West Liberty and Pioneer Avenue got to know me. I was the woman in the grey Omni who would open the door to vomit every morning as I sat waiting for his whistle to blow. After that, I became the woman who didn't fit behind the wheel. And, then, I became the woman no one wanted to see arrive.........I instilled panic in the hearts of many. I was so huge that everyone feared they would have to deliver a baby at any moment. The question of "when are you going to have THAT baby?" started during my 6th month. Yes, I had to endure being the largest pregnant woman anyone had ever seen on this side of North America for 3 + months. But, nothing....not Jewish soup, not a Mexican earthquake, not even a Pub & Pizza pizza made a difference that September night in 1985. So, I gave up. My boy was staying put. As I maneuvered my massive body into bed that night, I accepted the fact that this wasn't going to the be the night that I was going to have my 62 lb baby.
But the next day was. Vincent Francis Mancuso entered screaming at 5:03 pm on September 20, 1985. Of course, he wasn't 62 lbs. Much to everyone's shock, he wasn't even 8 lbs. ( I begged Carmen to tell everyone I delivered a 13 lb baby!) So, my new son left the rest of that pregnancy weight with me. But, he was healthy and feisty and his nose hooked when he wailed---reminding me of my mother---and he had five fingers and toes. We were thrilled and ecstatic and madly in love. Nothing else mattered much.....especially those 50+ leftover pounds. There was a baseball field around the corner, an adorable red, yellow and green room waiting for him, and 3 aunts, 2 uncles, a Nana, a Grandfather and a Grandmother eager to welcome him. There were baseball hats, soccer games, cousins, holidays, special movies, first days of school, vacations, friends, dances, parties and so much more ahead of us. Our life as a family was calling. Even if that meant I had to waddle through it.
This evening, I realized something as I sat at the dinner table listening to my almost 22 year old son and his 16 year sister continue the same fight they have been having for the past 15 years. My son was visiting us. He had come for dinner. He doesn't live here anymore. He doesn't kiss me goodnight. I don't get to watch him sleep. He doesn't throw his socks on the living room floor. He doesn't leave empty wrappers on the coffee table. I don't hear his raucous laughter at 6pm while he watches "The Simpsons". All 200+ lbs of him are gone. I lost my post partum weight. That was the shortest 22 year diet I have ever been on. Went too fast. Happened in the blink of an eye. I'd like to have it back, please. Weight and all.