In honor of the upcoming Holiday, I shall tell this story using furry, nibbling, nose-twitching characters. These bunny rabbits are my family. My loving, dynamic, never-a-dull-moment family. All play a starring role in this story. With the exception of yours truly, as I was starring in a concert in St. Louis, hundreds of miles from where the events took place. Allow me to introduce you…..
The participating members are my three older sisters and my Mother. They are, in this order:
Once upon last weekend….
My husband and I decided we might be ready to leave the kids overnight for the very first time. He had never seen this concert I’ve been flitting off here and there to perform in, and wouldn’t it be fun to get away together for the first time in 2 and a half years?
As we would never dream of piling the responsibility of two high maintenance dogs and two equally demanding toddlers onto just one, we enlisted the joined forces of Ma Rabbit and Mopsy to come stay in our home to divvy up the needs of all four.
I felt only a tad guilty requesting the aid of middle sister, Mopsy, as it would mean leaving her own litter of six, but she graciously obliged because she is quite an easy-going and adventurous little bunny. With six, wouldn’t you have to be? Besides that, Flopsy’s fur does not mix well with that of my pups, and Cotton-tail was just about finished cooking her own bunny in the oven.
So, with the spring breeze kissing our babies’ cheeks on the front porch, we drove off to the airport with a bittersweet wave and a sigh of amazement at how long it had been since we had been anywhere without adorably needy company.
We settled into our hotel that evening and just as the unsettling buzz of peace and quiet was about to burst through our ear drums, a text beeped in from an ever-so-swollen Cotton-tail. It said:
“Labor has begun. Please send Mom”
Now, I must explain that we live in New Jersey, just on the other side of the Hudson. Cotton-tail resides in Queens. On a map, the distance looks minimal, 24 or 25 miles, but at closer inspection one realizes that the trip entails traversing over and through bridges, tunnels and Manhattan traffic. Possibly not as daunting for frequent city-goers, but more than slightly foreboding to a small-town, 70-year-old Rabbit, even if she does pull off a pair of skinny jeans and heals with more grace and style than any of her four, thirty-somethings daughters. But, off she went at 3:00 a.m., to the aid of her little Cott0n-tail to care for her other two grand bunnies while they awaited the arrival of their new brother!
Listening to her tell the story is troubling, and one breathes sighs of relief that she is indeed in plain view, able to recount the tale herself. She had no cash, thus no way to pay tolls, and had never, up until this middle-of-the-night adventure, driven in the city.
She had to reverse her car through toll-booth lanes due to a misunderstanding of what “X” means, had to attempt to explain where her lost turnpike ticket disappeared to (I still don’t understand this part as she retrieved it minutes prior), and when asked where she got on the turnpike, her nerves erased any knowledge pertaining to that answer.
Once impending births were explained, and tolls were deferred, she found herself at 4:00 a.m. in Manhattan. She now was faced with the next obstacle of getting across town to the Midtown Tunnel, exiting Manhattan on the other side.
Angry taxi cabs flanked her stick-shift vehicle with honks, crude gestures and classic New York City impatience as her GPS chastised her with an ever-repeating “re-calculating, re-calculating, re-calculating” with every blasted missed turn. (“Blasted” – direct Ma Rabbit quote)
By the grace of God, she pulled into the driveway of Cotton-tail’s residence just in time to relieve the babysitter at 5 am. Flopsy, sister number one, may have beaten her there, although she had to travel from upstate 350 miles.
Ma Rabbit’s only statements at that time were “I can’t believe I didn’t cry. I have always been sure I would NEVER drive into the city and now I am even more sure that I will NEVER do it again!”
I have since fetched her car from Queens and driven it back to New Jersey where it will remain until she arrives via train to come drive it home to her barely populated hamlet, with no toll-booths, tunnels, and mean people.
Cotton-tail hypnobirthed 7 lb, 5 oz baby bunny number three into a hospital bathtub of water at 6:07 am without the aid of a single pain reliever. Glory be! Nice Work, Cotton-tail! You are inspiring! Although, just for the record, I too used hypnobirthing. I found the meditative state very helpful as they inserted the epidural needle up my spine.
Flopsi and Ma Rabbit watched over her two, while Mopsy flew solo, effortlessly balancing the undertaking of our four with nary a hiccup. Makes me question what on earth my problem is!
I don’t know who is the greatest heroine of this tale. All names belong above the title, for sure.
I do however, know it is not I.
Even with the lavish 102 piece orchestral event, St. Louis was uneventful in comparison.
Welcome to the Litter,
Carmine Cristiano Arena!
I do believe you hit the jackpot of Bunny families!
For those who are familiar with my family and are interested in a character key, see below.
Rozek Rabbit Key
Flopsy – Kassie
Mopsy – Hilary
Cotton-tail – Marcie
Ma Rabbit – Ma Rabbit