Saturday, May 21, 2016

Reflecting on a Personal Milestone



A father–daughter dance prompted Raymond (Ray Romano) to reminisce about the birth of his oldest child, Ally (Madylin Sweeten).

My guess is that is a common thing for parents to do — to remember, usually on a special occasion, when a child was born and reflect on how far they have all come since that time. In this episode, which first aired on this night in 2001, Ray remembered how difficult it had been to conceive a child.

Then, after the child was conceived, Ray and Debra (Patricia Heaton) spent a lot of time with Ray's parents. In her typical way, Marie (Doris Roberts) was producing tons of food and insisting that pregnant women should eat. Even if she didn't want to eat, Debra complied.

And then there was a rather harrowing moment on the Long Island Expressway when everyone thought Debra was in labor — turned out to be a false alarm — and their drive to the hospital was slowed considerably by traffic.

At one point, the three of them were convinced the baby was about to be born right there on the expressway, and Robert (Brad Garrett) tried to make use of his training in emergency deliveries, but he told Raymond that something was wrong.

"I don't think I'm seeing what I should be seeing," Robert said.

Ray, whose mind was always on a single track, replied, "You're seeing everything! What else are you supposed to see?"

"A head!" Robert responded.

At that point, Debra concluded that the contractions were easing, but that didn't make the drive back to Frank and Marie's any less uncomfortable.

Then, when Ally was finally born, the family gathered in Debra's hospital room to greet the newest Barone.

All that was on Ray's mind as he watched his 9–year–old daughter on the dance floor.

Then a slow song came on. It happened to be Stevie Wonder's "Sunshine of My Life," one of the calming songs Debra wanted to hear during her false labor.

And Ray asked Ally if she would dance with him. She did.

Now, I'm sure this episode had a lot of sentimental relevance for anyone who has ever been a parent. But even for such as I, it was a touching episode. Most of my friends have been parents. One of my friends even made me the godfather of his daughter, and I feel about her as I would of a child of my own.

It ended that season on a good note.