Thursday, February 7, 2019

What They Told Me About Myse;f

I was born at French Hospital in NYC. Daddooooo had issues with the nuns. He wanted to be certain that, if it came to a choice between saving the mother or the baby, that the Catholic hospital would choose the soul he knew (G'ma) rather than the soul they’d created (me). “I can always make another baby, but I know and love my wife.”
Though they had both taken LaMaze classes,
Daddooooo was not allowed in the delivery room. When he first saw me, around 2am, I opened my eyes and looked at him, straight on, connecting to a part of himself that I’m not sure he knew was there. He patted my head, welcomed me to the world, and went home to sleep.

Mary Johnson was the baby nurse for all 3 of their children. She was tall and white and wore a uniform; I remember her wondering why Brother and I had the pots and pans out on the kitchen floor early on the morning that our sister was born.
Apparently, I loved Mr.Kelly, a stuffed clown with a ceramic face. When the crawl space flooded in the 1960’s, Mr. Kelly floated out. G’ma and Daddooooo were surprised (and, I think, a little sad) that I didn’t recognize him at all.
We lived in London Terrace, in NYC. G’ma would take me to the local pocket park, where I reclined in the pram while the hobos (20th century homeless males) made sure that no strangers bothered us.
I went ice skating at Grossinger’s Resort in the Catskills when I was just learning to walk. I was probably more competent then than I ever was.
And that’s it. I have the cards that were sent when I was born, but not many stories. I wonder why. Was I boring? Was their present too disappointing to allow for happy backward glances?

I wish I had asked for more.  It's too late, now.

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