Friday, October 12, 2007

October Birthdays

My son's birthday is the 8th. I wasn't present when he was born. I was in the army at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. It wasn't too far from Oklahoma City and I had my car but I couldn't get permission to leave. Lots of people have children born so in the interests of country, world events, human species, and cosmology it isn't a terribly important event. Only to the individual is it really significant.

I left anyway as soon as I could sneak out unnoticed. They didn't really need me. That was in the day when fathers were persona non grata at the hospital when babies were born. The medical profession at the time apparently felt that fathers had a lot of germs and stuff and were a serious health threat. I was in my fatigues. Soldiers were also personae non gratae at the time what with Viet Nam and all. The nurse was was probably 2 decades my senior. I don't know if she disliked me because I was a soldier, a man, or a father. But we had a pretty good yelling match in the middle of the hallway. I was adamant I was going in and she was equally adamant I wasn't.

But I did get to see both mother and baby even though for only such a short time. And I made it back to post without being caught and probably imprisoned for life or perhaps executed.

My mothers birthday is today, October 12th. This used to be Columbus Day but it was changed shortly after my son's birth. Columbus Day is rather controversial now in some parts. But while my son was young we often celebrated his and mom's birthday at a family gathering. Mom's been gone nearly 6 years now. I'll run by the cemetery today and stop and visit her and dad and my grandparents and my aunt and uncle. They're all there together now.

There are two empty spaces next to dad and mom. I bought 8 more spaces in the same section but up by this old tree on the north side. Dad paid $80 each for the plots he bought when his father died. I paid $1,250 each for the ones I bought when my mother died. Dad bought 10 in 1960 and we used 7 in 41 years. So I figured if I bought 8 more that someone would use them in the next 40 or 50 years. Especially given that there are more of us now.

One of my grandson's birthday is Sunday, October 14th. He was born the year mom died so I always remember how old he is. This year he turns 6. I was there for his birth. In fact a whole bunch of people were there when he was born. I think they have video. Apparently in the span of 31 years it has become okay for not only fathers but anyone who wants to be present for the birth to be right there in the room.

I tried to remember what I liked when I was 6 but couldn't really think of much. So I got this green M & M dispenser (it looks like a green M & M) and in the very bottom I put a bunch of loose change. On top of that I packed it full of little bags of M & M's. Then I got him a card shaped like a "6" and put 6 each $1 bills inside the card. I put another bag of candy on the bottom of my gift sack and then the dispenser on top of that and then another bag of candy on top. Figured the bags of candy would be my packing protection. Tucked in the card and gave it to my son-in-law to take home. I think it is something I would have liked when I was 6.

A week from tomorrow is my 15 year old granddaughter's birthday. She's Judy's granddaughter really and I think that makes her my step-granddaughter. But I just call her my granddaughter. She plays the harp and piano and likes to be in school plays. She had her picture in the paper the other day because she designed a piece of clothing. She's pretty cool. Judy is taking care of her gift.

My first granddaughter is 10 this year on the 30th. I haven't figured out what to get her yet. She lived with me for a few months when she was first born. And I was there for her birth. She and I used to color together. That was before I came to live with mom and dad. She invited me to her school's grandparents' day which will be next Thursday. She wrote me a note and I wrote a note back to her telling her I would love to come. This will be first time.

And of course another birthday of sorts this month is my anniversary. This will be number 3 for us. I think this one will be special because in a way it is starting new again. I am told this anniversary officially is supposed to be either "leather" or "crystal" whatever that means. We're still thinking about what we're going to do but we both kind of like the idea of retracing our 1st trip together.

I was going to post about work but it seemed better to me to write something else.


Lori1955 said...

The gift for the 6 year old is perfect. It's strange, but right now I can remember being 6 better than I can remember last year. I know I would have loved it.
I like the idea of retracing your first trip on you anniversary. This really is a new beginning for you two. By the way, stick with the crystal, the leather can mean a lot of things. :)

nancy said...

i agree with lori, your birthday gift sounds great. can i have one too next year!!!lol. your family sure has the october birthdays like mine.

happy anniversary to you and judy. i like the idea of retracing your first trip as well. my initial thought of crystal vs. leather was the exact opposite of lori's. i was thinking as i read, i'll bet terry will buy judy something leather for her horse. but lori may be right. i guess you should buy what you think judy will like best.

nancy said...

p.s. enjoy grandparents day with your granddaughter. i remember how much matt and mark loved it when gene and russ would come to their's and i think they both enjoyed it as much! pretty special times.

SKYGIRL said...

"...fathers had a lot of germs and stuff and were a serious health threat."

See, you were even a trend setter way back then? I get a kick out of visulizing you and Nurse Crachet, battling it out in the hall way!

The gift sounds perfect, for a "6" year old, and sounds like you put allot of thought & work into it, which always makes a gift more special.

I am so HAPPY for you & your extended family! It has got to help, when picking up the pieces.

I'd better be prepared to be "The Old Woman, Who Lived In Her Shoe!"

I need to get allot of Cats!

steflovesnonna said...

This is a beautiful post. I especially like to think of you yelling out some old lady nurse trying to get in to see you new baby! You must have been such a proud dad that day! I know you must love him lots.

~Betsy said...

Yikes, if the Army had noticed you gone you could have faced MP's! Good for you though. I can't imagine not being there for such an important event.

For what it's worth, I'd go for the crystal.

Chris said...

I think I finally figured out why I like your writing style so much. It's pure, almost like an innocence, except through experienced eyes who have seen pain, sadness, hope and happiness. Perhaps that doesn't make sense but it calms me in a time that my life is in upheaval.

I know you are going through tough days Flinty. My heart goes out to you now and always.

Joanne D. Kiggins said...

I enjoyed your story about you "leaving" camp to get to the birth of your child. That was courageous in those days.

The gift for your grandson sounds perfect. I'm far from six, but the candy sounds great! :D I'm sure he'll love it.

You and Judy deserve another trip and retracing your first together sounds like a great idea. That's exactly what Two Feather and I thought about doing somewhere down the road.

Enjoy your anniversary and each other. ((HUGS))