I can remember that day as if it was yesterday. It was a Sunday afternoon. I was eight years old. Deeply engrossed in a 'coloring contest' with my best friends from church, 97.3 KBSG, Seattle's oldies radio station, playing in the background. The radio DJ came on and announced a contest for the day: when they played 'Fun, Fun, Fun' by the Beach Boys (you know the one, "and she'll have fun, fun, fun til her daddy takes the T-bird away..."), the 10th person to call in would win $1,000 to spend on something--you guessed it--fun.
As soon as we heard the words '$1,000 dollars,' our little ears perked up in excitement. We abandoned our coloring contest and immediately ran upstairs to my friend Chelsea's bedroom to start devising a scheme for winning that money. We came up with a plan that we were absolutely certain would work. As soon as 'Fun, Fun, Fun' started playing, we would set a timer for 15 seconds, the exact amount of time we determined would make us caller number 10. For when the DJ asked us how we were going to spend the money, we each came up with a cute one-sentence answer on how we would spend our share.
For literally hours, we sat on Chelsea's bed in a circle, a little hand-held radio playing in the middle of us, her mom's kitchen timer ready to be set. We did a few practice run-throughs during commercials, just to be sure we had everything down. We dreamed about all the things we were going to do and buy with our prize. We held our breathes with anticipation and excitement at the end of every song. Was this it? Was the next song going to be the one?
Chelsea's dad came into the room at one point and tried to get us to come down for dinner. "Shhhhhh!" we told him, "we need to win this money first!" He tried to warn us that there was a very small chance we would win, but we knew better. Our plan was foolproof.
I can so vividly remember being so confident that we were going to win that money. It wasn't even a question in my eight-year-old mind. I really truly believed it was going to happen.
Finally, it was time. 'Fun, Fun, Fun' began to play. We screamed. Chelsea set the timer. My hands shook as I held the phone and got ready to dial. "Five, four, three, two, one...call! Call! Call! Hurry!" I dialed the number to the radio station and we all huddled around to listen in.
"Beep. Beep. Beep..."
It was busy.
We hit redial and waited.
"Beep. Beep. Beep..."
Over and over and over again we hit that redial button, our hopes fading each time we heard that soul-crushing "beep beep beep" coming through the phone's receiver.
We must have tried calling at least 100 times during the course of that 3-minute song. When it was over, and some other lucky caller was on the air winning our money, we all just kind of sat there in a state of shock. We were crushed.
I think that was the day I lost my innocence. My naivety. My sense of pure, unadulterated optimism. I realized no matter how badly you want something, no matter how hard you work for it, sometimes you just don't get it. To this day, I've never called into a radio station contest again.
It kind of feels like this same story replayed itself with Stevie. When I was pregnant with her, there was no real question in my mind about whether or not she would be born alive and come home from the hospital. She was my $1,000 'fun, fun, fun money' prize, and I was absolutely certain she was mine to keep.
When she died, it was like relearning that hard lesson about life not always going the way you want it to all over again (and about a million times more intense, obviously).
Now being pregnant again, with you, it's like I'm sitting around, phone in hand, hoping this time, I'll win.
But there's no confidence this time, no optimism. I wish so badly I had that back. I just want to know in my heart that everything is going to work out this time.
This time, I want my prize.
I love you so much, baby boy.
PS. I sincerely apologize for mentioning something as awesome as bacon guacamole in my last post and not including a recipe :) We don't really go off of any recipe, but here's how we make bacon guac at our house:
3-4 avocados (depending on how big they are)
3/4 of a purple onion, chopped
a big handful of chopped fresh cilantro
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
3-5 red and green serrano peppers, to taste (we also sometimes add a habanero to make it extra spicy), chopped
salt and pepper to taste
4 strips of bacon, nice and crispy
Mash up the avocados in a big bowl. Add the chopped onion, cilantro, garlic, and peppers. Squeeze in the juice of 4 limes. Add salt and pepper. Chop up your bacon and stir it into the guac. Enjoy!
Makes the Missing Lighter
1 hour ago