A Hand-up for "My Baby"

20 years ago my ankles were starting to swell, just like my belly. It was a joyous time. I was a novelty in the Newsroom: the first news anchor to have a baby!

Viewers followed my pregnancy on-air. Off-air, fellow newsie George Szostak rolled me around the news department in my desk chair (to save my ankles). The late great Tom Cherington made sure I had a nap every afternoon. Tom and Dan McLean watched in amazement as I'd experience "kicks", while reading the news. (I swear my son was using my bladder as a trampolene!) Field crews at Ivor Wynne Stadium fetched a deck chair to "take the load off" during a live broadcast, launching the new season for the Hamilton Tiger Cats under a new owner. Even on-air guests got into the act. Comics Tom Posten and Tim Conway stared at my stomach during our interview as they "watched the flowers grow on my dress!" I laughed so hard I almost went into labour right then and there!

In those months and weeks before his birth, I loved spending time in his room, decorating, arranging, imagining. His room had soft green carpet, and little bunnies in a wallpaper border. The rocking chair was an antique I had bought years before I ever contemplated becoming a Mom.

Today that baby is moving into a new room, in his own house...well, sort of. He is becoming a superintendent at a little bungalow we bought as an investment/hand-up for my son but not a hand-out! It was my husband's idea. I love him for it. Cal will pay rent and collect the rent from two room mates, pay utilities and make sure the grass is cut, snow is shovelled and garbage put out.

The memories flood back, of carrying him home from hospital, up the stairs and into his little crib, of that intoxicating "baby smell" that he brought into the house (the good kind that is!), the wondrous hours we spent alone in the middle of the night in that rocking chair. So tired, I remember now, reminding myself that these moments were precious and I must cherish them forever.

And so the moving truck loads up his computer, clothes, drum set and other odds and ends still in tact after an experimental year in a "student house", the typical kind you hear about with six bedrooms squeezed into a 60 plus year-old two-storey box. But the "party house"' atmosphere wears thin. Valuables, even money goes missing, some roommates fade away, others drift in.

We've bought him an early birthday present: a new bed, pillows, comforter, sheets, even new towels. I want to make sure his new room is cosy, comfortable and perfect just like I did 20 years ago. There will be pizza and beer after we unload. Does he have groceries,soap,toilet paper? Will he make sure he washes the floors and does his laundry? I will hold back. It's his turn now. "It's okay Mom, I can look after all that", he gently says. But I'm here if you need me. Another milestone. Sleep well my son and make sure you lock the door...