IMR: 1998: April: 07 -- Tuesday, 2:28 p.m.
Straub Family Practice, Honolulu, Hawai`i
Katie is getting her regular checkup with Dr. Boyens as I type. This time, Jen -- convincing herself it was something she should be able to do -- volunteered to hold her as she gets her immunization shots.

I held her last time, and I can only say its a difficult but neccessary milestone in parenthood. When the needle went in and she started screaming holy murder, my heart ached in a place I'd never felt before.

I can hear her crying now, all the way from the waiting room. Boy will she sleep well tonight.

[ Sign ]Saturday's All-Purpose Shindig (otherwise known as The Reception) was wonderful. Better than I could have imagined.

Not that anything really interesting happened. In fact, I was sick with the same nasty bug that had knocked out the entire C tower at CBA, and thus spent most of the night in a daze.

It was simply a priceless, unforgettable evening. Close friends -- some I hadn't seen for ages -- and family from both my mom's and dad's side, together in the same room for the first time since my graduation party five years ago.

I imagine it was a little awkward for some of our guests. Our friends were surrounded and outnumbered by the extended (and completely unfamiliar) Ozawa clan. And no doubt my family was a little curious about them... Nate, especially, as he still had his inverted-toothbrush mustache and allowed his thick shrub of hair to grow back.

Fortunately, since I took my parents' suggestion to assign people to tables, people who knew eachother were seated together, and the conversations flowed freely all night. And halfway through dinner, mom, dad and I took turns introducing each guest to everyone.

William humored me and gave a short, prepared Best Man's speech. I also said a few words, even though I'd somehow lost my notes and ended up having to do it from memory.

The buffet was excellent... or at least, that's what I heard. I spent most of the evening going table to table, catching up with people and thanking them for coming. Although everyone at the head table was actually served, my plates arrived and were eventually taken away full.

It was especially nice to see so many of the old Ka Leo crew together again. I was only able to get in on the gossip for a few moments, but what I heard sure made me feel better about my career prospects at the Star-Bulletin.

As the evening wound down, my legs were getting numb as everyone in turn came by to hug us and congratulate us on our marriage, our daughter, or both.

Mom, at the last minute, offered to take Katie home to Mililani, so Jen and I could enjoy the free room that came with the banquet reservation. After driving out to Kailua to take Jaimee and Nate back to their lodgings, we jumped into the big, cool hotel bed and did something we'd been wanting to do for a long, long time:

We got a full night's sleep.

Last night, Jen was sitting crosslegged on the bed and holding Katie in her arms. Katie was so happy, she was stretching, smiling, and cooing nonstop. She was looking right at her mom, eyes bright and wide, gurgling off a stream of insanely cute baby noises.

It was a beautiful moment. So beautiful, in fact, Jen started crying.

"She's perfect," she squeaked, sniffing and wiping away her tears. "We're so blessed."

Katie, for a moment, stopped her playful squirming and studied her mother's face, seemingly puzzled by the new expression. Then, as Jen started stroking her cheeks again, she returned to her happy soliloquy.

Every so often, when I'm looking at her looking back at me, I catch fleeting visions of her at six, twelve, eighteen years old. For that instant, deep inside her still dark, baby eyes, I can almost see all the things she could become, all the possibilities she'll have, and all the beauty and charm she'll possess.

Not a day goes by when a curious stranger will look her over and remark how sweet and pretty she is. And all I can think to myself is, "You ain't seen nothing yet."

Checkup done. Katie's all pink, her eyes glassy and her face faintly streaked with baby tears. Mom does not look happy. In fact, she looks a little sick.

Two shots. Ah. That couldn't have been fun.

Well, at least we know she now weighs 10 pounds, 9 ounces, and is 21 inches long... supposedly pretty tall for a girl her age.

Time to go home and administer some baby-grade Tylenol.


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 7 April 1998 · Last Modified: 8 April 1998