I know I had a baby, but did the Celtics win?

I am writing this column on Wednesday, June 9, 2010. Today is daughter Katie’s birthday. It is pouring rain outside and I am remembering another rainy day 23 years ago.

Twenty-three years ago, I lived three miles south of College Station, which is now a thriving metropolis. Back then, there was only a lone medical complex and the rest was nothing but woods. I lived about a mile off of Highway 6 in the boonies in a little house.

My then-husband was a longhaul truck driver so I didn’t see him for 6-7 weeks at a time.

In other words, I was by myself most of the time and it was blissfully peaceful. My two dogs loved it out there.

I had never lived in the country before so when we moved out there I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it. I got out of the car and was right at home. When I sat outside I felt like I had the prettiest living room anyone had ever had.

Bird Bird When I was pregnant with Katie, I was driving back and forth to Rockdale, where I worked at Haircuts Plus, located in The Mary Anne Shoppe, which is now Healing Handzz. The pace was rather hectic. My blood pressure kept going up so I was ordered to bed rest for the entire five weeks before she was born. I distinctly remember my doctor saying I could go from the bed to the couch and back to the bed with a few trips to the bathroom in between. But that was all.

My brothers and my Mom took turns coming to stay with me for a week or so. As you can imagine, my television was my best friend. Living in the boonies, we only got one channel. So I learned to adapt and watch whatever programs were on that channel, day or night. And I watched religiously.

The Cosby Show, A Different World, Family Ties, Cheers, I’m talking intellectually stimulating television.

So you can imagine my great joy when I found out that the basketball playoffs were going to be televised instead of my shows. I screamed so loud that the dogs woke up and started barking.

A “bouncing” baby girl Katie Grace and her mother and basketball analyst “Hoops” Cooke. A “bouncing” baby girl Katie Grace and her mother and basketball analyst “Hoops” Cooke. Are you kidding me?

The first round of semi-final playoff action was the LA Lakers vs. Seattle Seahawks. I was in a blind rage during most of their games. I knew I hated both of these teams for ruining my TV watching so whoever won this series I would devotedly root for them to lose.

Turns out the Lakers won, so I hated them the most, although purple and gold is a nice look.

Then came the Boston Celtics vs. Detroit Pistons. By now, my rage had settled somewhat and I found this paring interesting.

That’s when it happened. I fell in love with the clumsy, bumbling Boston Celtics. I knew I wanted them to win. Larry Bird, Dennis Johnson, Kevin McHale (who always looked like he had just gotten over the flu), Robert Parish and Danny Ainge. These men were my salvation from my couch.

They were playing against a great Detroit team that I probably would have liked, if they had been playing against the Lakers. Isiah Thomas, big, whiny Bill Laimbeer (everybody hated him, even people from Detroit) and newcomer Dennis Rodman who would turn out to be one of the weirdest people ever to walk this planet.

The Celtics won and were playing against the Lakers in the finals. My hatred towards the Lakers had not subsided.

The week I went into labor with my Katie, it was little brother Kevin’s turn to stay with me. When he saw that I watched basketball at night he was more than a little bit puzzled.

“You’re watching basketball?” “It’s the only thing on my TV,” I said, never taking my eyes off of the screen. I could see him still staring at me out of the corner of my eye.

He asked me, “Do you want us to go outside?”

“Dooda, shhhh! Yessss!” Ainge hit a 3 pointer.

Later that night my water broke and I walked across the house to wake Kevin up. He jumped straight out of bed like a shot and said, “Do not worry about a thing. I’ll get you to the hospital. Do not worry, everything’s going to be OK!”

The terror in his voice was evident but I acted like I didn’t notice. And of course, it was raining outside.

Kevin ran everywhere he went. He ran to the bedroom to get my suitcase then he ran it out to the car. He ran back inside to get me and I was half afraid I was going to have to run myself. But he just helped me slowly, as if I was going to break any second.

He put me in the car and ran around to the driver’s side. He looked at me and asked very seriously, “Should I drive really, really fast?”

I said no, the speed limit would be just fine.

On the way to the hospital I had several contractions. That poor boy got more scared with each one. At first he said, “What are you doing?” I told him I was having a contraction. “Well if you start having the baby, is there anything you can do to, like, stop it?”

I was wishing that he had attended a few of my Lamaze classes with me. We made it to the hospital where he ran to a pay phone and called my parents to come immediately.

Two days later, after an emergency C-section, when they told me I had given birth to a beautiful little girl, the first thing I said was, “Oh, that’s great!”

The second thing I said was, “Who won the game?”

I was wheeled into my room and was able to watch the last 20 minutes of the game and to my great disappointment, my beloved Celtics lost. On the day I gave birth. I was stunned.

Hello! Had I not devoted five weeks of my life to them?

Has it really been 23 years? Seems like only yesterday.

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