Benjamin was born in the middle of the night in the summer of 1997. Hong Kong was going back to China at the time. We were in Budapest, Hungary. Prajna had been having contractions for months. Then she woke me up to tell me it was time.
We called a friend from church to come and watch Harrison and Naomi and then I called a taxi. In the two years in Hungary I rode maybe 5 times in a motor vehicle that was not public transport.
At the hospital a cheerful nurse asked in “Mi a baj?” (What’s the trouble?)
We, the young couple at 2:00 in the morning that included a very pregnant woman, hesitated, and then I blurted: “Viz!” (water).
The doctor didn’t make it to the hospital in time. Prajna and Benjamin agreed that they had waited enough.
“Fiú” (boy) said a nurse as Benjamin presented himself.
Hours later I walked home. It was about four in the morning and the sky was getting light.
Benjamin has an American birth certificate and passport and no Hungarian citizenship at all. Aside from crying a lot he was an easygoing baby and a great eater. Over the years Benjamin has stayed amiable and easygoing albeit he turns 13 in 29 days now and it’s beginning to show. He’s my son.