Good humor makes all things possible.
-Charles Schultz-

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.
-Shakespeare-The Merchant of Venice-

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Annmarie Jane

It was a cold night twenty-nine years ago, after I spent the weekend fielding Braxton-Hicks contractions every few minutes, already three centimeters dilated, ten days until my due date with my first baby. We got Chinese food down the street and went to bed early.   But in a few hours my water broke started to drool, and I sat on a towel in a rocking chair near the wood stove, rocking and timing my contractions. Before long, they were three minutes apart so I woke up my husband  and we went to the hospital, by six-thirty I was pushing, and at eight-thirty I delivered a six and a half pound girl with a headful of black curls and as hairy as a monkey.  I named her Annmarie Jane.   Don't hate me for having easy deliveries.  I'm sure you're really good at something, too.  It's not like a talent I can use too much these days.

I realize now what an easy baby Annie really was.  She nursed all the time, which was fine because I didn't have anything else to do.  Sometimes she'd spit it all up and come back for more, but I had a washing machine in my house so I didn't care.  This was the heyday of natural childbirth and no-worries childrearing.  There was no internet, no mommy bloggers, and I already had fifteen nieces and nephews.  There was practically no way to get it wrong.

Annie started talking at one year old, but was so shy in kindergarten that her teachers thought she couldn't speak.  At home, though,  she chattered like a parakeet, especially once Sam was born and she had a captive audience. She danced and acted her way through highschool [which wasn't all sunshine and lollipops], and then lit out for the bright lights of Sacramento, where she met and married my stellar son-in-law.  She gave me three perfect grandsons, about whom she frets constantly.  I was not a much of a fretter.

Because she was born on the twenty-first, her birthday will never be on Thanksgiving, and it seldom comes as close as the day before, like this year.  But I am so very thankful for this child. She changed my life forever when she made me a mother.  Those of you with children know what I mean--no matter what else happens in your life; there is before and there is after.

Happy twenty-ninth birthday, child of my heart.


  1. Annie is certainly beautiful. I can see a lot of you in her.

  2. Definitely a "before" and an "after" - and I wouldn't go back. The eldest child is special, because he/she is the catalyst for this transformation.

    Don't know where all the big words are coming from this morning; must be the surfeit of food from last night.