Birthdays are my favorite. I had one a couple of days ago, but I tend to celebrate the entire month. The only other person I’ve heard of who does that is my aunt Lisa. She may have given me the idea. One year I called her every week for her birthday. I think after three weeks it got kind of old.
This year my wife bought me tickets to see Eddie Izzard. I’m a huge fan of his standup. I’ve been a giddy school girl for two days now, and I don’t think it’s going to subside until several weeks after the show. The show is in June, so Dana has a lot to put up with from now until then.
Birthdays are my favorite in the same manner that storytelling is my favorite. I think I like my birthday in particular because it comes with a good story. Not a lot of people get a good birthday story, so I appreciate mine. Anyone who knows me gets the one-sentence version, but if they ask questions they get the long version. Growing up, I heard the story every year. When I turned 8 I decided that I didn’t mind hearing it every year. I always thought it was lame that I had to hear how I came into the world every time I had a birthday, but then I realized that none of my siblings got story time as an annual gift. I was the lucky one.
Without any further ado, the one sentence version: I was born in the back seat of a station wagon in my neighbor’s yard on Mother’s Day.
This, unfortunately, is not the same wagon, but you get the idea. The first thing I’m introduced to is wood paneling on a car. And, you aren’t going to get through this post without getting the long version. It’s my birthday, it’s my blog. I’ll do what I want.
I am the fourth child of six. My mom had to get the other three kids up, ready for church and over to grandpa and grandma’s before making the 45 minute drive to the hospital. But that’s when she realized that 45 minutes is a lot longer than she and daddy-o had before meeting their brand new bundle of Mother’s Day joy.
Lucky for them (and me), the neighbor’s daughter was visiting with her husband for the holiday. Mom knew that Gail was a midwife assistant. She may have never delivered a baby herself, but she sure knew how.
Dad and mom flew up the driveway, screeching to a halt and laying on the horn. “We need to get her inside! The baby is coming!”
With one look, Gail said, “No time for inside, Kevin. Your baby is being born right here in this terribly dated vehicle of yours.”
And I was. I arrived before the ambulance.
A few days later, my parents called Gail and her husband, Ben, to tell them the good news. “We named him ‘Benjamin’ after you!”
“Well that’s great! I’m honored!” replied Ben. “But my name is ‘Bennet’.”
We kept the station wagon up until I was 17. As a kid I would play in it, but I would never to to the back where I first saw light. I didn’t know what else I would find back there, and it creeped me out.
All in all, I seemed to have turned out alright. I do have a tendency to leave the door open when I leave the house, though. Whenever someone challenges me on it they say, “What, were you born in a barn?!”
No. Not quite.
Image Credit: ASWOA