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.

This was old hat by now. On each side of a contraction, I managed to tell the nurse my name and that I was in labor and that I would be having an epidural just as soon as she could line one up. And in fact, I said, if she had something for the pain right now, while she worked on the epidural, that would be good too. She looked at me and said, “Honey, let’s just make sure you ARE in labor.”


It was a raucous, tumultuous couple of hours. It turns out I WAS in labor. And the baby was in such a rush the doctor almost didn’t make it. The nurse, a male, from Wales told us he would be delivering this one. I could see the exhilaration on his face. I wasn’t sure. And then, just in the nick of time, the doctor walked in to catch our little bundle of joy. He looked up at us and said, “A girl.” And she let out a wail.  It was quite an entrance. It was just after three in the morning. The nurse handed Jim our swaddled infant and he took her to the window and showed her the stars in the Santa Monica sky. He sat there like that for hours – holding her. We had decided to wait until dawn before telling anyone that Margaret Mary Huntington had entered the world.

It was the best secret we’ve ever kept.

Now…  twenty-six years later… that baby who pushed her way into our lives in record time still sets the pace for all of us. With her beautiful, ferocious energy, she continues to careen into every entrance she makes.

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl…

Little Sister

Big Sister



Panda Protector

Enthusiastic First Communicant


Panda Keeper
Nature Lover
Boy Whisperer
Prom Poser
Free Spirit

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Movie Maker
Sister Friend
We love you, Margaret!!
P.S.  I always have to tell this footnote to the story.  After dawn, Jim called the morning news meeting at KNBC to tell everyone that we’d had a girl and we named her Margaret Mary Huntington.  My boss, Nancy Bauer, barked back “What did you have, a nun?”
Leave a birthday message to Margaret below!

35 thoughts on “Such A Secret

  1. As always, beautifully and humorously written, Joyce!! Margaret: Happy Birthday! We have so loved being a part of your life and watching you become this beautiful and charismatic young woman. Lots of love to you today and always!! xxoo MA

  2. Joyce, you & your beautiful words are a blessing to us all.. Thank you for sharing..
    Margaret, the day you came into this world was truly a gift to all of us! Happy Birth Day Sweet Girl! You are very special..

  3. Happy Birthday ‘Ret! Glad you are a Hornet and an excellent story of your birth! I think you are loved by lots of people but Jimmer and Joyce take the cake. Enjoy YOUR DAY but you better be in class 🙂

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  4. Joyce, this was beautiful. You’ve raised some amazing children. Happy birthday to the best friend I’ve ever had!

  5. Beautiful story! Do you think I should call you Mary Margaret?
    Happy Birthday!
    Aunt Katie

  6. I’m tearing up— Margie, truly one of a kind and grown into a lovely young lady. I can say: I remember when….

  7. Happy Birthday Marge! Love lyou and hope all is well. Joyce, what a wonderful tribute to a special gal…….so many fun and funny times with Marge through the years. Love you all the Huntingtons. xxoo

  8. Margaret’s birth changed our lives forever! She is our sister, daughter, playmate, friend, partner in crime, adventurer, babysitter, star athlete, movie pal, best friend and so much more.

    We love you to the moon and back, Marg!

    Ingrid, Bob, Connor and your heart, Diggy

  9. What a great memory/story. Love the pictures. Happy birthday Margaret. Looking forward to seeing you this summer in NYC.

  10. This beautiful story has been retold over many of darling Margaret’s birthdays but it always sounds like you’re hearing it for the first time! Frank & I were honored to attend her 22nd birthday!!! XO Auntie Kim & Uncle Frank

  11. Joyce, Just loved reading this great story of Margaret Mary Huntington’s birth and the photos that followed! You paint a terrific picture! A very Happy Birthday to Mz. Margaret. P.S. this is sort of my Mom’s birthday too (she was actually born on the 29th) <3 ~dayna

  12. A beautiful birth story for a beautiful girl, now a beautiful woman.. Happy Birthday Margaret! And happy day of birth to you Joyce! I love this quote about motherhood that I read long ago about giving birth: “You have won the big sweepstakes. Girlfriend: You are Woman. You are Mother. You are Earth’s greatest heroine. We honor and love you”.

  13. Fantastic story and the accompanied photos were priceless! I’m glad I got the chance to meet you and your siblings when you passed through Seattle a couple of years ago. Happy Birthday to you Margaret – I remember yours every year, since mine is the day before. Yeah Pisces!

  14. Happy birthday Mag! Thank you Jim and Joyce for bringing such a wonderful spirit into this world. I truly don’t know what I would do with out Margaret in my life! Love you guys so much and I cannot wait to celebrate with your Marg! #Jordanyear

  15. What a beautiful story and gift to give to your lovely daughter. You’ve raised a bright, beautiful, sensitive, driven daughter. I love seeing the spark and energy she has in the fun pictures of her youth.

  16. Pingback: Such a Secret – Tripping on Books

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