Friday, November 22, 2013

The Seventh Daughter

I can't imagine what the couple must have thought when, on Nov. 22, 1924, their seventh daughter came into the world.  With a houseful of girls already ranging in age from sixteen down to two, was there disappointment?  Was there resignation?  Was there joy?

Story and song give us fascinating accounts of the psychic powers sometimes attributed to seventh sons. Just ask Johnny Rivers, because after all, as the song goes, "[He's] the one, [he's] the one," you know.  Is there any witchcraft or voodoo attached to a seventh daughter?

No--not this one, anyway.  She had what must have been a pretty uneventful childhood; at least, she doesn't recall much of it.  She grew up and came of age, it seems, pretty much spoiled by her older sisters and their husbands.

Of course, she was of that generation that walked miles to school in all kinds of weather.  This, she remembers.  She went on to graduate salutatorian of her high school class, marry her high school sweetheart, and become a stay-at-home mom before it was really a choice.

She stretched her own curtains.  She never drove a car.  Every Monday she ran clothes through an old Maytag wringer and, when she was done, carried the water out to the back yard a bucketful at a time.

Her birthday is noteworthy for numerous reasons.  Over the years, it has occasionally fallen on Thanksgiving Day, as it did last year.  Fifty years ago today, on her thirty-ninth birthday, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.  There was cake that day anyway.

Today she turned eighty-nine.  She is mother to two, grandmother to four, and great-grandmother to eight. Her youngest great-grandson came not quite three weeks ago, and she was one of the first to welcome him.

Happy Birthday, Mom.  You and Heero are like bookends, framing our month of November with your birthdays and giving us two great reasons to celebrate.

I don't know what your mom and dad thought when you were born.   I never got to ask them.  But I, for one, am glad they had Daughter #7--and I know a whole slew of little rug rats who would be quick to agree.    


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Heero's Welcome

I love this picture of Beenie and his sign from last summer.  In the midst of a tennis-ball-fetching game with his dog, he advertises to the world of Facebook and beyond that he is going to have a little brother.  He even looks rather happy at the prospect.

Then came last night, when he found himself and his daddy thrust into the middle of a new and puzzling family dynamic.  His new expression reflects, at best, a little apprehension about the whole thing.  At worst, we see the first inkling that the universe as Beenie knew it--the one in which all the planets revolved around him alone--may have ceased to exist.

Barely 24 hours ago, we discovered a brand new star in our galaxy.  Here in the blog he will be known as "Heero."  Born at 6:46 p.m.CST on the birthday of my own paternal grandmother, our little Heero weighed in at 8 pounds, 4 ounces and measured 20 inches long.  Sizewise, he is pretty much a carbon copy of his brother at birth.

For the better part of a year now, I have been carving out a spot for you in "Googie's Attic," little Heero.  I look forward to writing about you here as you learn and grow.  As you snoozed in my arms at the hospital today, I wondered once again at the miracle and the sheer potential of new life.  Once again, I am humbled to be so incredibly blessed for the sixth time in a little over six years.

Don't worry, Beenie.  Just look at that face.  He will fit in OK.  Give him a year, and he will be running to keep up with you and Zoomie.  And, I'm betting, all of you will be giving the three older kids a run for their money. 

And as for you, little Heero, welcome to the wonderfully unpredictable but always entertaining world of Googie's kids.  For a new star, you are already shining pretty brightly.