Today is my brother's 36th birthday. Like a dope, I didn't call: he's on the East Coast, I'm on the West, and it's tough to find a time when we're both awake and home and not trying to feed our kids dinner.
It's hard to believe my little brother's on the downward slope to 40 now, just like me. I remember walking next to my mom while she pushed his baby carriage along a path in Riverside Park, and old ladies stopping us so they could coochie-coo at him.
Today is also the day one of my best friends became a mother. Her partner gave birth this morning, three months early. There hadn't been any sign of trouble in the pregnancy before last night. Birth-mom and baby are in one of the best hospitals in the region; the baby's in the NICU on a respirator.
If you believe in prayer of any sort, to any deity or combination thereof, and feel like sending one out for this baby girl, it would be a really, really good thing.
*"Chai" [with the "ch" pronounced as in "Chanukah"] is the Hebrew word for "life." The number eighteen is spelled using the same Hebrew letters as the word "life," and 18, and multiples of 18, have come to signify life in the Jewish tradition.