Fifteen years ago today (November 10, 1998), Bruce Springsteen released a four-CD box set called Tracks. As a Jersey boy and diehard Springsteen fan, I had waited for months through rumors and the eventual announcement of the long anticipated package. It was scheduled to arrive just weeks before another anticipated package – my first child. The baby’s “release date” was expected to be about December 2.
On the morning of November 10, I sneaked out of work for short morning break and got to Tower Records in Burlington, MA just as it opened. I grabbed my copy of Tracks, and zipped back to the office. Between calls and meetings, I had a disc or two playing in the background. No time to pour over the 50+ pages of background, photos, and lyrics — the closest I ever get to classic literature.
Heading home that night, I called Caren to see what I should pick up for dinner. We agreed on Boston Market (I think it was still Boston Chicken back then). Less than an hour after leaving work, I walked in the front door carrying dinner, looking forward to a rockin’ night. “Don’t serve dinner, my water just broke,” was how Caren greeted me at the door.
So three weeks early, off we went to Emerson Hospital, In the wee hours of Wednesday, November 11, Stephanie was born. Why the big rush, Steph? It’s already a holiday (Veterans Day). I’d like to think she was in a hurry to listen to Tracks with me. She constantly reminds me it was to stop me from being able to listen to it. To this day, any time a song from it comes it, I make Steph hear this story. It’s just one of the many annoying and embarrassing things you get to do once you’re a Dad.
So I got my world rocked – just not in the way I expected it. Now with only 366 days until she can drive, Stephanie is about to do it again. At least the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) has the decency to be closed on her birthday.