… and then Marney ruined it.
I think that’s how the story of my birth starts.
In case anyone was unaware, IT IS MY BIRTHDAY! I enjoy my birthday a great bit. I get a lot of glee out of announcing everywhere I go that it is, in fact, MY DAY. ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME!!!!!
When we were younger, my sister Carrie used to grouse about the endless teasing she received on her birthday. See, Carrie’s birthday is November 14. Which is precisely nine months after Valentine’s Day. And even though we all know it doesn’t really work exactly like that, it was still a source of a good laugh for her friends — that her Mom and Dad were doing a little mattress dancing for Valentine’s and SURPRISE, here comes Carrie.
I, however, never got what the complaining was all about. After all, on Valentine’s Day in 1963, my parents were still newlyweds. If anyone has a reason to “celebrate” Valentine’s, I think it would be a newly married couple barely into their 20’s.
I, however, am another story. It seems that while Carrie was the product of a night of love and romance, I was the product of Mom and Pops just doing it one April day. Hell, they already had four kids, and Amy was still a baby! There was no moonlight and roses. It was “hurry up, I have stuff to do.” Honestly.
Well, despite that image being infused into all our brains, it is STILL my birthday. HOORAY!
The story of my birth goes something like this:
Mom was drunk again.
Mom wakes up and is somehow surprised that she is in labor. Apparently the four previous deliveries and the fact that I was roughly a week late escaped her. So naturally — in full on Nancy style — she’s like, oh, I’ve got time. And she jumps in the shower. Fast forward 10 minutes and apparently she was all “TOM HELP ME!!!!!!!!”
Seems the baby wasn’t interested in whether Mom’s pits were clean or not.
So into the car they go. Now, I’ve heard different versions of this — the car died (it’s freaking January), they borrowed a neighbor’s car, the car was fine — I don’t know. Even though I was there, I do not remember these details. What I do know is that despite the fact that there was a perfectly good hospital just a few miles away, Mom and Dad decided that this baby MUST be born at St. Anne’s in Chicago. Even though by this time they were a good 25 miles out of the city in our new Wheaton home.
So into the city they go. I like to think about the lovely conversation they had on the way in. Something tells me Mom did a lot of talking and Dad did a lot of staring straight ahead and keeping his mouth shut. He’s a smart man, he knows when to talk and when to be so still you are practically a corpse.
Again, the versions of the story get hazy. In one version, Dad lovingly drops Mom off at the front door. In another, he tries to park, and Mom almost makes it certain that this will absolutely be his last child… THEN he drops her off at the front door.
However it happened, Mom apparently runs into the hospital grabbing at her hootie like a 3-year-old who waited too long to hit the head. The nurse pulls up a wheelchair, and Moms says, “uh……. no” and does the pointy-point-point at her lady bits, where someone’s head is about to pop right on out.
Needless to say, they got her to a room, and by the time the door shut all the way… IT’S A GIRL! Dad probably hadn’t put the car in park yet out in the parking lot.
And that was how it was, 37 years ago this very morning. I have to say, that while it is technically my birthday, it’s really Mom and Dad’s special day. Because really, their lives would be so much less awesome without me. So thanks you two. Thanks for getting it on one April day in 1973.
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