Jasper’s due date was my daughter’s birthday. She was turning four that year and I worried that she’d feel neglected if Jasper arrived on her day. A friend suggested I throw Livia a big party a few weeks before. I chose Valentine’s Day. I invited all her friends and all their parents and made an enormous feast and decorated the apartment and ordered a ridiculously expensive cake. Jasper’s arrival would not steal from her. The night before the party, having just finished the last preparations, I lay down. My mother, who was coming to help, called to say she was stuck in traffic at the Lincoln Tunnel. I told her not to worry, that I was in good shape for the party. Just then I felt an enormous gush of water. “I think my water just broke,” I said to my mother. Indeed it had. Jasper was born the next day, Valentine’s Day. And, of course, Livia didn’t care. And now 6 years later this is Jasper’s favorite story. He asks me to repeat it all the time. We have told him he couldn’t wait, he wanted to be at the party, that he likes to be right in the middle of everything—where the action is. “I love to be in the middle of everything,” he says. My love, my Valentine for life.
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