Wade, our last-born, texted from Los Angeles the other day asking if I knew what time he was born. I can barely come up with the year any of our five offspring were born – how in the world would I remember the hour? I suppose some super mothers do, but I probably wouldn’t like them much.
I did manage to find the time in his baby book (8:40 p.m., if you’re interested, which of course you’re not, but be polite and pretend). I have no idea why he needed that information – he’s probably concocting some kind of fun quiz for his sophomore English class. “What totally awesome teacher was born at 8:40 p.m.? First student with the correct answer gets a candy bar.”
Looking at his baby book brought back lots of memories – there were clippings of several Inkspots columns in there that I’d written about him and his closest-in-age sister, Amy.
Here are some excerpts:
“Having children late in life, whatever that means, is supposed to keep you young. If that’s true, someone forgot to tell our two tail-enders. Amy (9) and Wade (5) chronologically but still a terrible two at heart, are doing their darndest to turn me into an ancient crone overnight.
Take the other day, for example, when I took Wade to the swimming pool. He’s spent lots of time there this summer with his babysitter, so I wasn’t surprised when all sorts of people greeted him by name.
What threw me was the one mother who hailed him, then added casually, “I see you’re wearing a swimsuit today.”
Don’t ask why she said that. I didn’t. I’m happier not knowing.
That same day, Amy discovered the wonders of the computer at the Algona library. She excitedly told me about a game she played that required her to type in the names and birth dates of her nearest and dearest. She typed in my name, she told me proudly. “I remembered your birthday but I wasn’t sure what year you were born in, so I guessed.”
What did you guess, I asked. “1915 – that’s pretty close, isn’t it?” she asked hopefully.
Her father laughed like an idiot.
Which he is.”
Another clipping fell out of the book which has nothing to do with Wade, and I have no idea why it was in his baby book, but I’ll reprint it here anyway because it’s one of our family stories that I love.
My grandmother’s sister, Vera, left Emmetsburg to teach in Houston, TX, where she married and lived happily ever after. Her son Frank went to Notre Dame and Vera proudly knit him a sweater with a big ND emblazoned on the chest.
Her younger son, Charles, was in grade school at the time and pestered his mother to knit him a sweater with the initials of his school on it, just like Frank’s. Vera couldn’t bring herself to explain to Charles why she never quite managed to knit his sweater.
Charles attended All Saints School.