Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Week of Adam

This is a big week for Adam.

Last night was his final high school soccer banquet. He received his awards, the most impressive of which was his All Conference Keeper award. The senior plaques gave Coach Chad a chuckle: the player on the plaque is splayed in a scissor kick. Adam -- able to play on the field during one game -- did his valiant best to score. His scissor kick, not a thing of beauty, was nearly effective; the ball hit the post. Still, it was an uncommon pose for that solid and strong body. He's splayed most often in the mud, the body of an offensive player mashed beneath him.

On Friday Adam turns 18.

Eighteen years ago, we celebrated Joe's first ambulance sale in Minnesota.

Not long after the memorable Halloween blizzard of '91, he had a council meeting to attend in Cokato, Minnesota. He really needed to attend the meeting; he was the lowest bidder thanks to a calculation error, and should receive the award unless something went wrong. Hugely pregnant and already having the odd contraction, I was nervous about staying home alone so I accompanied him to that meeting.

Council meetings have a tendency to be lengthy. This one was no exception.

B, a long-time ambulance dealer and Joe's competitor, was at the meeting too. The council was trying to decide which ambulance to purchase. While Joe's price was better, he was unknown in the ambulance world.

Joe vibrated with energy. He presented his product and defended his pricing admirably.

B did his level best to convince the council that Joe was too young and inexperienced to sell an ambulance. He suggested Joe wouldn't be around long enough to provide support and service to the ambulance crew.

I could not get comfortable. Sensitive only to the tiny body inside mine, I couldn't even take interest in the proceedings. I shifted continually in my seat.

Finally an ambulance crew member and councilman whispered to Joe, "I'm not sure you realize it or not, but your wife is in labor."

"I'm not leaving until we're done," answered Joe.

"No, really," crew member urges, "she's gotta go."

"I really can't leave!"

Crew member interrupts the discussion, "I make a motion to purchase the ambulance from Ninety-Four Services. We gotta get this lady outta here."

Someone seconded the motion and they called a vote. Joe made his first sale.

Crew member approaches and asks which hospital we're using. We were headed to Unity in Fridley, a long haul from Cokato. "Want a ride in the ambulance?" he asked.

"Oh no!" Joe exclaims. "We're fine!" and we climbed in our Chrysler Laser for the ninety-minute drive to Fridley.

He probably could have flown.

To this day B chuckles when he suggests Joe played the dirtiest trick in the world.

And Adam? Dr L wasn't sure Adam should be born yet; he wasn't due until December 5. He did all manner of things to stop labor so he could run some tests.

When we left the hospital nearly a week later, we carried with us the beautiful baby boy who is now a man full grown.  

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