Monday, December 13, 2010


Like all families, my family has its share of stories that are told and retold, passed down for years. My favorite ones, of course, involve me.

So, 40 years ago, on December 12, 1970, my grandmother, my aunt, my mother and I were Christmas shopping in Salisbury. As I discuss endlessly, I am from Pocomoke, and you really need to get out of Pocomoke if you want to buy a variety of items. There's a walmart now, but people still head to the mall in Salisbury when they need to go shopping.

After a full day of shopping, my mother, who was 9 months pregnant, turned to my aunt and said, I think you should drop mother and me off at the hospital and take Susan home, please. Because I've been in labor all day and it's probably time I check in.

My aunt, who was childless at the time, was reportedly furious with my mom for shopping all day while in labor, but my mom was by all accounts fine and the plan went off. My dad was working in Australia at the time, and my mom and I were living with my grandparents, so my grandmother stayed with my mom and my aunt drove me back to Pocomoke.

I was 2 years and 4 months old. On the drive home, my aunt reportedly asked me if I wanted my mom to bring home a brother or sister from the hospital.

And my reply, repeated often to great laughter, was: "Well, what I really want is a kitten!"

And instead of a kitten, my brother Michael was born on December 13. So happy 40th birthday to my brother.

But back to the story. Here's the thing. I am in daily contact with a pretty chatty little guy who is 2 years and 1 month old. And it wasn't that long ago that I spent a lot of time with a highly verbal girl when she was 2.33 years old. It's not, exactly, that I doubt my aunt's veracity. Kids do say the darnedest things, and non sequitors are fairly routine. But, let's just say that I've wondered about this story for the past few years. Sadly, the other participants, besides my mom who was fairly occupied at the time, are no longer here to confirm details.

I like precision. Did my aunt ask, do you want a brother or sister? And I replied, no, a kitten? Or did she say something more vague, like what do you want your mother to bring home? And then I more logically replied a kitten? It's just that when you examine this story more closely, more details are required.

The truly happy ending part of the story is that my mother came home from the hospital with my brother, and then my father came home from Australia, and then we moved into the cutest little pink house (I was in heaven living in a pink house!) on Holiday Drive, and THEN we got a kitten. A very cute female Siamese kitten who was named Scooby Doo. And here again, I'm going to call foul. Because, the story has been that my brother and I named the kitten after our favorite show and of course my parents didn't plan to name our cat after the popular cartoon dog but we insisted. But look! I was just over 2.5 at the time, and my brother was a newborn!

Recently, we've started watching old Scooby Doo cartoons, which are shown on the Cartoon Network. Andrew calls it Dooby-doo, and he and Elizabeth loooove the show, even if (or maybe because) it's just ever so slightly scary and the dog talks.

So I've got all these threads here and no plan to tie them all together. I suppose the moral of the story is 40 year old family stories should be repeated, often, at the family table, preferably with aunts and uncles and cousins and generations gathered, rather than examined in detail in writing.

And second, happy 40th birthday Michael!

(And yes, there was another 40th birthday recently in the family, and there are some pictures that were planned to be added to the blog, but blah blah blah kidney infection camera cord....and we'll either get to it or not!).

1 comment:

AwwwTrouble said...

No respect, I tell ya! - The 40 yr and 6 week old guy