For most normal folks, drinking means conviviality, companionship and colorful imagination. It means release from care, boredom and worry. It is joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good. But not so with us in those last days of heavy drinking. The old pleasures were gone. They were but memories. Never could we recapture the great moments of the past. There was an insistent yearning to enjoy life as we once did and a heartbreaking obsession that some new miracle of control would enable us to do it.–Alcoholics Anonymous
Maycee was supposed to share a birthday with me. Her original due date was January 10th, 2004. I remember when the doctor told me, and I sat on the bench in the examination room, smiling. “Really? The 10th of January?” My doctor, having been with me as a preganant teen adopting out my first child, also knew the journey that had come from those years and beyond when I returned to him again, a fairly well-adjusted thirty-year-old, pregnant with Maycee. He knew my “story” of trudging the road to happy destiny-a sober road that often seemed way too long. So, I was eager to share with him, “That’s my sobriety date!”
Of course, God being good, and my doctor being a master at helping very miserable swollen and totallyreadytofitbackintomybluejeans pregnant women along into labor, Maycee came five days early.
Often, as I’ve prepared and rejoiced in the coming of her big day, the past years have allowed my sobriety date to sneak up on me stealth-style. There have been some years I received a card wishing me congrats in the mail, only to say to myself, “Ha! That’s right! It’s my birthday, too!” Perhaps this year I’m ahead of the game because I’m going to be a teenager, a thirteen-year-old. It’s like I’m entering adolescence all over again, except I don’t really get pimples anymore, and I’m not worried the least bit about what my peers think of my clothes or my hair. Oh, and I’m not hiding in the shadows too afraid to look anyone in the eye. Okay, so maybe it’s not like adolescence. Okay: it’s better. Abudantly better.
And, you know that “insistent yearning to enjoy life”? Well, it comes now without the heartache of an obsession that can’t be stopped but for the grace of God and the willingness to be willing to change.
So, a sober thirteen for me is going to mean more than standing on the sidelines of the junior high dances. And, I probably won’t comb the stores for any flourescent orange shoelaces to string through my boots. However, if I get in the mood, I may just bust out my “Pretty in Pink” soundtrack album (yes, a bonafide vinyl record), pretend I’m Molly Ringwald for old times sake, and dance in my undies. You wanna know the cool part about that? Well, actually, there are many! Let’s see if y’all can figure them out (wink).