Happy 22nd Birthday to Middle Bro!
22 years ago today i was 7 years-old and my mama asked me a question that changed my life: Do you want to go school or do you want to go with me to the hospital so i can have the baby?
Umm, even at 7 i knew that i wanted what was behind door #2! So we hopped in the car and my laboring mom drove to my Uncle Ben's house so he could drive us to the hospital in OKC. Uncle Ben came out of the house with a cold, unopened beer. My mom immediately grabbed the beer and sucked all the condensation off the can, thus was the beginning of what i now know is called active labor.
She panted and sucked that beer can for the entire 45 minute drive, while my 7 year-old self made a promise to my future self to NEVER have a baby. EVER. (fail)
Uncle Ben pulled up in front of the hospital and hopped out to go get some help. The next thing i knew, my mom was slipping off her red shorts. "What are you doing?!" I squealed. "I can't wait sweetie, the baby is coming now. Give me your hand."
I'll never forget how all that pressure on my tiny chunky hand felt as my mom squeezed down. It felt like she was squeezing my hand forever, but it couldn't have been too long -- help still hadn't arrived!
What we now know was a baby boy fell on the floor board of the car. The baby cried. I cried: "Pick it up, pick it up!!!!" My mom cried: "No! It's going to be a boy and I don't want a boy!"
Yes ladies and gents, my mom -- who eventually birthed two boys who she spoiled rotten -- spent 37 years of her life adamant that if she had ever a boy "the doctor better put it where he found it."
When help finally arrived, they found this scene: A half-dressed postpartum woman sitting in the front seat, a chunky, shocked 7 year-old in the backseat, and a naked newborn crying on the floor. And we were locked in the car!
I remember nurses and docs knocking on the windows and telling us to unlock the doors. The windows were slightly cracked and rain was starting to come in. I don't know if my mom was just shocked because she had just delivered a baby with her 7 year-old in the backseat of the car, or if she was shocked at the prospect that this baby on the floor might be a boy. Either way, it felt like forever until the doors finally unlocked and we all got out of the car.
And sure enough baby that crying baby was a boy. My little brother Jared!
I spent the next couple of hours with my Uncle Ben. Our first trip was to the car wash. I remember him looking down to the ground, smoking his cigarette, shaking his head and saying "My car will never be the same. Never." He later sold that car.
I was very excited to go to school the next day. Not only was it Friday, but it was Show 'n Tell and i had the best tell ever! Ms. Love let me go first so i could tell everyone why i was absent the day before. The story was like the above, except Ms. Love cut me off when i got to the part where i explained that my new little brother came out covered in what my 7 year-old mind could only describe as stuff that looked like butter ( i now know that "butter" is really called vernix caseosa).
I will admit it was not love-at-first-sight with my new brother. I was jealous. And he wasn't all that cute in the beginning (and he would agree with me). But i must say that i've fallen deeply in love over the last 22 years. Middle Bro -- who i have called Bubby for 22 years and will do so for the rest of my life! -- is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I love him dearly and am so grateful he made me his big sister! Happy Birthday Bubby! Go party like it's 1988 -- but with less crying and more clothes on!