The idea of a baby was only hypothetical even though we saw him growing inside of Stephie.
We made so many changes for this little person that would be joining us. We moved just outside of Manhattan in July to a wonderful, fun house in Maplewood, NJ. The Cooks fixed up a room to be the nursery - which was not easy since we wanted to be surprised on aboy or girl. We got all settled in. We started talking to each other like we were a family and not just a couple.
Waiting...waiting.... We took pictures like he/she was a part of it all. We used Stephie's belly like a canvas, like we were sending notes to the womb. The characters in the movie: it starts with Stephie's Dad, Steve, who used to be a sign painter. Goes on to my mother, Aline, who is very upset I asked her to take off her sunglasses. Then onto Stephie's Mom, Janet, who was happy to pour water on Stephie's stomach to make it grow. The last sequence was shot on the day before Jackson was born and ends a couple of days later with his feet sticking out and his lips firmly latched on.
Early on the morning of our second anniversary, October 29, Stephie told me, "I am going to give you the best anniversary present ever." And with that the contractions started coming. It was the most beautiful birth. At 1:45p Jackson stuck his head out and looked around. At 1:46p Jackson was here. The midwife yelled out "it's a boy", and the fun began. Then there was that moment when the three of us first walked into the house - and it instantly and magically became a home.... the three of us were a family. It all happened in one moment and we all were taken aback by the power of those feelings.
A note on Jackson's middle name:
My father Jack, used to always give me five dollars at the airport when I was leaving him. Five Dollars when I went to Kamp Kewanee. Five dollars when I went off to college. Five dollars when I moved to New York. Always five dollars - never more. When I started going out with Stephie, I told that story to her father Steve, and every time since then when we have parted, he always slips me a five...or as the beats used to called fivers, a "fin."