Tuesday, July 3, 2007

I Wonder What Mom Thought When I Popped Out ... Me?

For being a pretty self-centered kid, I haven’t had much discussion w/Mom about my birth. All I know is that Dad was so not in the delivery room and that I, too, was almost born in a vehicle in the snowy dark of night. It was North Dakota, so no need to qualify blizzard conditions. I’m pretty sure it was just routine January weather. I’d have come into the world in a blue Ford truck, except that I didn’t.

I hope I’m not showing my tush too much when I assume that back then, prenatal care was a bit less technological and that prior to my arrival, Mom didn’t have any idea what my sex would be (if you want to get into a very interesting discussion with yourself or others like you, please go to your local library and pick up the May 21 issue of
Newsweek). I have the vague memory that she didn’t have a name picked until my arrival, even. But don’t quote me on that one. So I’m mostly convinced that I was a screaming little surprise, akin to being sure that you’re getting a Barbie for your birthday from your sister, but you just don’t know which kind. Only more life-altering.

I have an older brother whose mother is Mom, so I’m sure she was thinking, “Sweet! Finally, someone who’ll appreciate flowers, Mama’s pearls, and L’Air du Temps!” Now, my dad only has my little sister Kat and me to claim, so I guess what went through his mind was, “Good! I’ll make S. have the birds-and-bees talk with her since they’re both women. Maybe I’ll never have to do that ever!”

What was not going through my mom’s mind (but really should have been) was, “Oh, my precious little one is just so perfect … I could just lie here and look at her all day. The pain was worth it. She’s adorable and obviously intelligent. Look at those dimples … look at those feet … look at those eyes … I wonder how to go about getting her into modeling/commercials/baby acting?” I’d have conquered the world, been the Gerber baby, gotten to play with an Easy-Bake Oven before any of my friends, and gotten tons of free clothes/food/diapers. I’d now be a totally stinkin’ rich drug addict without an education, but that’s neither here nor there. I coulda been a contender. Thanks, Mom.

No, really, Mom, thanks. You’re pretty incredible, and your support since that first cold and snowy day has meant everything to me. You’ve been there for me through church pageants/camp/mission trips, pink eye, swimming lessons, many failed attempts to play organized sports, simultaneous braces and glasses, broken bones, broken teeth, a multi-broken heart, firsts and lasts, plays and recitals and dance concerts, graduations, apartments, weddings, and even funerals. I don’t know what you thought on the day you knew I was a girl, but I don’t think it was a disappointment. I hope that nothing I’ve done since has made you change your tune.

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