Easy Street

I’m working on a theory. I’m still developing it. My sample size is very small – but my theory bears out inside the sample – my little family. The theory is this: The way people come into the world is the way they live their lives.  What do you think?

Let’s take my daughter Katie – sample number one. She rolled in after eight hours of steady measured labor – never letting up – organized and efficient. It’s the same way she does everything – like in high school, she’d plop on the edge of my bed with her calendar and ask if we could shop for her prom dress on the 15th or the 21st? Continue reading

The Final Drive

The End.  That’s how this story begins.  It begins with the end of the line for our beloved Big Black Car. It’s a Suburban. We never really named the car – maybe we should have. Once, on a camping trip, one of our friends called it the Puff Daddy Mobile but that name didn’t stick. Another friend more aptly called it The Battle Cruiser, but we never did. We sometimes called it the ‘Burban but mostly it was The Big Black Car – or Black Car – for short.

IMG_7169

There’s a little bit of a pall over our household. And my daughters at college are feeling the loss too.  We drove the car into the car graveyard. It’s gone – the emblem of our family life -the chariot that drove us up, down, around and across California and beyond during fifteen hectic years while we raised our children. The job of raising those kids may never be over but the need for a massive car to get around seems to be. Continue reading

Such A Secret

It’s a story everyone wants to hear. The story about the day they came into the world. Like my mother, I handed those tales down to my children with great regularity.  I brought out the stories on long rides when the road was whizzing by. I molded them into bedtime yarns. I dusted them off and gave them new luster on request. But, I especially brought them out when they had a definite news peg – birthdays – like today.

It was February 28, 1994. It was just before one in the morning. I felt the stirrings and then the pain I easily recognized as labor. We called Jim’s dad who rushed over. We left him with our sleeping two-year-old, Katie. Jim put on his would-be paramedic look and rushed out to the car. I waddled after him. Once again, he flipped on his imaginary lights and siren and we were off, racing to the hospital, while I writhed in pain. Continue reading

Marking Time

My mother always said to me on my birthday, in her beautifully accented voice, “Joyce, darling, when you were born, the angels sang.”  In fact, the angels sang when all five of us were born.  She told us all the same story.  We waited for it.  We loved it.  But I did not hear the angels singing when my first child was born.  I thought I would.  Instead, I heard a nurse, marking time.  So that’s the story I tell my daughter on her birthday which is today.

It all started when I told my husband, 25 years ago, that I was in labor.  I believe he, a newsman, has a deep-seated desire to be a fireman or a policeman.  I swear I saw him flip on his lights and sirens.  I think maybe he had been dreaming about that emergency run to the hospital for some time… maybe since his youth.  Maybe that’s something men dream about like some women might dream of their wedding day. Continue reading