There are documents galore about how I had entered the world, (just not this one) still, breathless and blue. And if that isn’t proof enough, you could always ask my parents or grandparents, (if they were still alive) I’m sure they would be more than happy to relate, how, instead of checking back out quicker than I was checking in, that God decided he must have wanted me to hang around for a while. (Eighty-two years to be exact.)
Starting out, though, I discovered that it would take more than just a slap on the derriere to start my engine; it would take some doing, on the doctor’s part as well as my parent’s.
The doctor’s part was easy, ‘Salad spoons’ to pull me out, a slap on the behind to revive me, (no response, so a quick rush over to the incubator, a little oxygen, a little chest message) and like that, I’m off and running the human race- pink and getting warmer– all the while screaming my freaking head off.
Then came the proverbial, ‘parental handoff’, that’s when the real fun began. Leave the hospital and find out on your own about dirty diapers, colicky cries, sleepless nights, dragging days, spit-up, baby formula, doctor’s visits, and excessive worrying. I may have been brand-spanking new as far as the world was concerned, but in the bigger picture, God must have built me on a Friday afternoon thirty minutes before quitting time.
In other words, I probably should have been recalled.
As for my mother- I’m not saying she had it any rougher than most, but those early years had to be a lot for a young mother all of twenty-three to handle. Especially since she was someone used to having her own way and doing what and when she wanted. Not saying she was a bad mother, to the contrary, you could not have asked for a more loving parent- considering the company she kept, namely my foul-tempered father, who happened to be… well, what shall we say… brutish, to say the least. Nevertheless she soldiered on, a real trooper my mom, all this despite the nearly over-whelming (I’m sure) thoughts of strangulation at times, of both me and my father. I’m just glad that in the end she took enough pity on me, and him, to keep us both around; hoping against hope and against all odds that somehow all her hard work would pay off someday. (As history would show though, Dad never did work out. As for me, well, let’s just say that I’m still a work in progress… a challenge, obviously. Even from beyond the grave.)
Eventually I got beyond the childhood stage, made my way past the diaper stage, the colic stage, past the learning to walk stage, the eating on my own stage, (thank God and Hallelujah) the even bigger potty stage, (most people have no idea… no idea at all what this stage is like) And before you knew it, I was all grown up, or so I thought so, for even this too was a stage. (Possibly the worst stage, my teenage years, and trust me, we won’t even go there- at least not for now.)
My mom used to tell me, ‘That you usually spend the first few years of your child’s life trying to teach them to walk and talk, only to spend the rest of your life yelling at them to set down and shut up. This saying would change later, of course, especially during my teenage years, to another great proverb, one that she seemed immensely fond of repeating over and over again like it was some kind of magic mantra or something wished for-
‘My greatest hope, is that one day you will have a houseful of kids all your own, and that they all turn out to be just like you!’
Little did she know what she was wishing for?
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