Monday, March 1, 2010

Honoring the B in D.O.B.

Gotta love the Age of Technology! Today, March 1, I received an email reminder (from myself) that I was born on March 3, 1954. My Google Calendar has been instructed (by me) to remind me 2 days in advance of important dates. This started me thinking--does any date carry more importance than the date of one's own birth? Well, yes. And no.

I suppose my own date of birth doesn't matter at all--which is not suggesting my fact of birth is equally meaningless. If I found out my real birthday was March 2nd or March 4 because some random, tired-eyed clerk typed a number wrong on my birth certificate the revelation would not elicit much beyond, "Cool! I think I'll post a blog about that!"

However, if I were never born...THAT would matter a lot! Not to me, of course, since there would be no me to be bothered. It would bother my mom. She tried like the devil to get me to this place called life, and she sacrificed a lot of herself in the process.

My dad started smoking on the day I was born, right there in the waiting room...and subsequent to that he died of lung cancer. But if you asked him today, he would not trade my birth for his life even if you threw in a positive cash flow mobile home park.

My sister, Julie, might have been spared some personal misery if I had never been conceived. As it happens, she had a little friend who innocently shared what her adoptive parents had told her, "We adopted you when your mother died." which being a child and quite literal she took to mean when any baby is born the mother naturally dies. When Daddy left for the hospital he told Julie he would bring back a baby sister or brother, and she asked, "When do we bury Momma?" Safe to say my birth mattered to her if for no other reason than to give her a sibling to have her back while she kicked that adopted girl's ass.

My sister, Cindy, is another story. My birth preceded hers. It is impossible to say whether her life might have been better or worse or exactly the same had I not been born at all. If one were to guess, the odds are one would guess wrong. Do the math. There are countless possible answers to a what if scenario...and only one right answer.

It's safe to say my birth has had the most direct impact on Katie and Joey. I think we can safely say neither child could have been born if not for me...oh, and Bob.

I love thinking about the fact that I am the daughter of a daughter of a daughter...and Katie is my daughter. She may be the very last of our gender-kind. Or not. The arrival of her daughter will decide that. Just thinking about that long, long line that goes down to the corner, and around the block, all the way back to the first woman--hundreds of mother-daughter-mother-daughter pairings way back in time--it gives me the chills.

And my question is, if this is the end of the line, why does it feel like the head of the line? Could it be being born is like getting cuts in line? And does it matter if your tickets are Row 3, Seat 3, or Row 3 Seat 4? No, it doesn't. What matters is you have tickets to the show.

And what about Joey? He's a son. Where's the "oh, oh, oh it's magic" in that? I suppose you could say he's the son of a father of a son of a father-son pairing going around the block, too. I guess the fine line is mothers actually produce the show, where fathers are pretty much limited to executive producer credit.

And although we can't create our own mate, we can create a mate for another woman. And to do so is an honor, just so long as the little hussy is good enough for him.

So there you have it. My birth is important enough to warrant a reminder from Google Calendar, but my Date of Birth not so much. I can live with that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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