There are some days that you know you will remember forever. Today was one of those days. While I would never ever want to relive the past two weeks, the feeling of utter jubilation when we finally took Charlie out of the NICU this morning and into the big wide World for the first time was incredible.
The earliest that Charlie was allowed out of the hospital was 6.30am, so our plan was to wake up at 5.30am, Alex to pick up the car which was parked a couple of blocks away, me to load it with the mountain of sh*t that comes with having a newborn and drive directly from the hospital to Long Island to join big brother Max and the family.
Well that was the plan anyway.
What actually happened was this. We woke up at 5.30am, Alex went to pick up the car and the car was not there. Evidently, the car had been stolen. Oh b*llocks.
So I asked the obvious patronizing questions that husbands tend to ask in this circumstance: “Are you sure that’s where you left it?” and “Did you park near a fire hydrant?” and “Are you sure you are looking for the right car?” So I left my mountain of sh*t and rushed to join Alex at the scene of the crime.
When I arrived, a man drove by in his car, stopped and asked me whether I was looking for my car. “Well, yes, as a matter of fact I am” I told him. He told me that he too had left his car there but the police had moved it to another street… no explanation, no sign, no notice no nothing… just moved the car for sh*ts and giggles and then didn’t leave a note.
The man, who is clearly our guardian angel, then told us that if we called up the police station they would tell us where they left our car. Now, I have lived in New York a fairly long time now… but even this was strange law enforcement behavior, even by New York standards. I don’t want to get too technical with police jargon… but isn’t that theft?
Alex and I could only laugh at the ridiculousness of the whole thing- we wondered what else, other than Spinal Meningitis and the NYPD, was going to stop us from taking our son home.
Well, fortunately nothing. At 9am we finally left the hospital with Charlie, his discharge papers, two tired but massive grins and a mountain of sh*t… only 2 hours behind schedule. Well, 2 weeks and 2 hours I suppose, but who’s counting?
Charlie slept the entire 2.5 hour journey and only woke up when he heard Max’s voice outside the car in the driveway asking “Is Charlie home? Can I see him? Can I hold my baby brother?”
And then I realized, we are now a family of four. A family of four with a mountain of sh*t. And a car.