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Thanksgiving 1976 was when we expected him but he didn’t actually arrive until January 6, 1977.  So, we waited with much anticipation through all of the holiday season for our family’s gift.

After a medical examination, the doctors told us we were very lucky to have Kay.  Other pregnancies were possible but not very likely, they said.

…Sixteen and a half years had passed, but as uneventfully as before, our second child, a son, whom we named David, was born. The doctors had been right about the medication I had taken – David was a healthy child. I felt a deep joy for I could now say with the psalmist, “There is none like the Lord our God in heaven or on earth … who makes the woman in a childless house a happy mother of children”. — I’m Not the Grandmother by Donna Brown (Kay’s Mother).

I remember so clearly when Mom told me she was going to the doctor to find out why she had not been feeling well for so long.  When she came back home, she motioned for me to come to her bedroom for a private conversation (my cousin was in the living room).  She shut the door and we sat on the edge of the bed.  She looked so serious and my heart pounded not knowing what she was going to tell me.  She then told me that I was going to have a sibling.  I was an only child and although I was 15 I had apparently never heard that term before so I gasped in horror and asked “what is that?”  Mom chuckled and explained that she was pregnant!  I was ecstatic at the thought of having a brother or sister and of the possibility of being an aunt someday.

The next day I went to school and when I met up with my friends I said “Guess what?”  The immediate, flippant response of one of them was “your Mom’s pregnant.”  I said “yes, how did you know?”  She had just been joking but it was no joke.

January 6, 1977 Mom took me to school and went to the doctor to see if they would go ahead and induce labor.  After all we’d been waiting since Thanksgiving and now it was January.  While I was in my Chemistry class, first period, the school office sent word that I was to meet my mother out front.  Everyone knew it was for us to go to the hospital for my ‘sibling’ to be born.

That was a very long day while we paced at the hospital hoping that inducing labor would work.  It didn’t, so the doctor scheduled the cesarean.  Since Dad and I hadn’t eaten and there was time before the surgery we ate at a steak place, I think it was a Western Sizzlin.  When we got back to the hospital, I watched one of my favorite shows, The Walton’s, in the waiting room while the surgery took place.  Soon, the nurses wheeled the stretcher by the waiting room with Mom on it and I got to talk with her and see that she was fine.  Then I went to the nursery window and saw my 9 lb, 10 oz brother for the first time.  I’ll never forget my amazement at him.  Later I wrote about him for one of my English papers.  Though I only got a B+ on it, I think it still captures my thoughts that night.

I stood in front of the nursery window waiting for the shade to be pulled up so I could finally observe the face of the sibling I had been waiting for nine months to see. Questions raced through my mind: What is he going to look like? Will he look like me? Is he going to look like a real human with arms and legs? Then a nurse came to the window and lifted the shade and I finally saw my baby brother. After a moment I realized I was staring at him in awe.

His little pink body was well proportioned, although his head was a slight bit large for his body. There was enough dirty blond hair on his head to share with a couple of other babies in the nursery. His face was very wide with big cheeks, a typical baby’s pug nose, and a beautifully formed mouth. He had long lashes on his eyelids and very dark blue eyes. Two chins appeared when he looked down toward his feet. His shoulders were already broad like a football player’s are when in uniform. He had a tiny derriere in contrast to his broad shoulders. His bowed legs seemed muscular, almost as if he had spent the last nine months straddling a horse. His little feet and hands were the one thing that made me realize that he was only twenty minutes old.

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David’s birth was a monumental event in our family.  I remember Dad sitting holding David and crying tears of joy over this special gift from God.   At that time, a 36 year old woman was considered a bit on the older side so doctors expressed concern about mother’s age.  When David was born mother looked young except for the gray hair that she’d been getting for years.  So, it was quite common that when people saw Mom, David and I together they thought that I was the Mom.   A thought that bothered both of us quite a bit and Mom even wrote a story about it.  Mother’s story about David, I am Not the Grandmother, was accepted for publication and appeared in the July 1978 issue of Home Life magazine.  One copy of the entire magazine still exists in our family and David has it in the scrapbook I made for him a few years ago.  Included here, to the left, is Mom’s humorous, serious, and well-written article of our family’s gift.

David’s birthday is very soon after Christmas and all the holiday festivities.  Consequently, most people are tired of desserts as well as buying and giving presents so birthdays at that time of year don’t tend to receive quite the level of excitement as birthdays that aren’t near the holidays.  David usually got lots of toys at Christmas as well as clothing so by his birthday there wasn’t much he needed.  While David was still young Mom also began celebrating a mid-year birthday for him with a cake and presents.  Those half year birthdays always took place during the summer and continued for several years.

One of David's half-year birthdays

This is my submission for both the Advent Calendar Christmas Memories 2009 and “The Other Holiday Happenings!”, 86th Edition Of The Carnival Of Genealogy.  Often times December to mid-January birthdays and anniversaries get over shadowed by the Christmas/Hanukkah/New Year holidays.  So we’re going to shine a spotlight on those family members and ancestors this time around.   Select one or more December to mid-January birthdays and/or anniversaries on your family tree.  Write a short tribute to or memory of those birthday guys and gals and write a toast to the anniversary couples. Share it in the COG!

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