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.