By Mary Anna Violi | @Mary Anna Violi
Twenty-two years ago today, at 6:30 a.m., my daughter burst forth upon the world on a hot and humid morning. Having gone into labor the night of July 2nd, I assumed within a few hours she would be cuddling with me. How wrong I was. Throughout the hours of waiting, various rounds of nurses offered me upbeat conversation, ice chips, popsicles, and later, saltines. 24 hours into this labor, I could have used a hit of protein since my last meal, pasta with pesto, had seemed in the mists of time. Finally, the doctor who would deliver Anjelica offered me six hours of induced sleep because “I need you to push when the time comes.”
I had lost track of time. The nurses and doctor roused me from my somnambulistic state, and informed me, “It’s show time!” 10 minutes later, Anjelica descended into the world. She was pink and perfect, with scads of dark hair. All of those pre-natal vitamins, breakfasts of cream of wheat, the purge of my daily glass of vino, coffee and all other caffeine-related beverages from my diet paid off, for she was perfectly formed, gorgeous, and totally worth it and more.
It was, a nurse excitedly told me, the 4th of July.
My half-Greek, half-Italian daughter was a Yankee-Doodle baby? My family was thrilled, for Anjelica was an immigrant’s dream: Born on the 4th of July. That night as she lay sleeping in my arms, I watched the fireworks on the river through the large picture window in my maternity ward room. Throughout the noise, glitter, and wonder of that fireworks show, Anjelica snoozed away.
On her first 4th of July she may have dozed, but thereafter, we celebrated her birthday big time, always concluding with the professional fireworks event on the river. Last year we celebrated her 21st birthday at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, and with Cirque du Soleil’s ‘O’ show. This year’s 4th of July birthday is lower-keyed, but will still include fireworks tonight. Like the fireworks, Anjelica herself lights up my world. Happy Birthday to my darling daughter!
Ciao for now.