Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Narratives

There are all kinds of narratives, and those of us who write are always looking for ways to turn them into novels or short stories, essays or poems. In other words, we want to shape our narratives for public consumption.

But some narratives are meant just for families, like the story I tell my second son every May 31st. It goes like this: "So there Sally Cannon and I were in Lindsey Gardens, eating chicken salad and orange rolls, watching her son Danny play baseball, wondering when you'd be born. Then I went home. Then my water broke. Then I went to the hospital where I was up all night trying to have you. To pass the time I watched BOB, CAROL, TED AND ALICE--possibly one of the dumbest movies ever made but back in 1984 there was no such thing as cable TV, so my choice of supremely dumb movies was limited. After BOB, CAROL, TED AND ALICE was over, I watched the TV stations sign off, after which I watched a picture of the flag on the TV screen while listening to patriotic music until the TV stations signed back on with Lynn Adair and the farm report (am I remembering his name?).

"Dude. You still weren't born until THAT AFTERNOON, after which my o.b. (adorable Dr. Ron Larkin) informed me that my second labor and delivery was worse than most women's first. To celebrate this fact, his nurse brought me a Dr. Pepper and some Cheetoes in the recovery room.

"Meanwhile they put you in my arms--a big fat red baby boy--and life never ever felt better."

Happy Birthday, Alec.

12 comments:

Bob the Woodworker said...

You just never seemed to want to have an easy time birthing a child. Each one of your children turned out to be so worth the extraordinary effort and pain and discomfort that you had to experience getting them here. May 31 will always be a wonderful day because Alec was born and Ann survived another child birth. As a mother in early 19th-century wrote in her diary after each of her children was born, "Thanks be to God for a living child born to a living mother."

wjmom said...

Our second son was born just minutes before midnight. All I could think was, "This baby needs to come TODAY, not TOMORROW."

But, lucky us! We got our 2nd children out of the deal. And they are most certainly worth it all.

Happy birthday!

Randi said...

I don't know where I'd be if Alec wasn't born, and to such a great mom! His birthday is a celebration of him AND you! I understand that a lot better now...

thesixthseason said...

You registered "and Also What I Ate Today" back in 1984! Impressive. As much as I love food, I can't remember what I ate on the days my boys were born. BUT during my hospital stay with boy #3, mahi-mahi was on the menu of Good Samaritan. Seriously! You haven't tasted dolphin fish until you've sampled what a hospital can do to it!

Birthing stories are so fun! Best wishes to YOU and YOURS!

Lisa B. said...

happy birthday to Alec! also, birthing stories are not just family stories--they are literally etched into our flesh. (that's the mom's flesh, by the way.) It's like the mom's body becomes the book of those births.

So: happy child's birthday to you, too, Mom of Alec. Way to go.

LucindaF said...

These stories are never tiring. And I remember exactly what I was given to "drink" in recovery.

Happy Birthday to Alec, happy delivery day to you, Ann.

Donna said...

Happy birthday Alec. You are a lucky boy!

BBB said...

Argh, don't tell me this. I want to have more children. I'm just having problems with the pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum part. No biggie.

Randi said...

Thanks, Ma! After hearing that story approximately 26 times it still hasn't gotten old! It's strange that I hate orange rolls.

Thanks for always making my birthdays great, Mom. Maybe next year you can come up to Eugene and we can watch Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice together (on second thought, that title seems to imply 70s swinging...not sure I want to watch that with my mom...)

Love you lots!

Alec said...

Note: I posted that last one with Randi's account...if you hadn't figure that out, yet you crazy old lady :)

Tell Gary hi!

Denver said...

O.k. this is strange. They always say there are six degrees of separation, but really. I just finished an oral history for a woman and she spoke very highly of one Dr. Ron Larkin. Amazing that two women I highly admire know the same man.

Jayne said...

Dr. Larkin delivered my last baby 19 years ago and my most recent grandchild last week. And now he's retiring, about which my daughter-in- law is very sad. As you have said, PEF forever.