For 2 generations of my family Labour Day has meant something more than what we Americans typically celebrate on this, the last weekend of the summer. For my Grandmother it meant going INTO labour. For it was on a chilly, Illinois, 6 September many years ago that my father was born. While I'm not sure of the actual day, it was sometime around this weekend that it happened. Thus began a new tradition that no one could have predicted.
It was 3 December, many years ago, my parents were getting ready for a dinner party and had some extra time before the guests arrived. My mom knew that night that she was pregnant, as she had known with my sister. Dad couldn't believe it, but I'm hoping he was excited. Mom went to the doctors and they predicted my arrival to be 11 August. Little did they know that I would be in no mood to make my appearance in such a timely manner. As my mother flopped around the pool, oh so very pregnant, that day came and went as more would follow. Too many more for their liking - 27 days, to be exact. Then, sometime in the middle of the night/early morning of 6 September I made the final push to join my Mom, Dad, and sister in this world. Talk about the birthday present that keeps giving.....and giving. Needless to say, my Mom was glad to finally have her body back (tho disappointed that her homemade flotation device had left her), and my Dad was happy that I was at last here. I hope he wasn't disappointed.
It's a cool thing sharing a birthday with a parent. Not to state the obvious but I think it has created a special bond between us. I appreciate that I share that day with someone, especially my Dad. While at times, because we are so much alike, we didn't always get along, as I've become an adult I have seen him as an adult and not so much as a parent. More than the guy who took us camping (in fact, we spent a couple of birthdays doing just that on Lake Norman in Charlotte) and hiking and all the cool things I'm grateful to do now, he is a man who travelled the states as an actor, train hopping, working with Paul Newman in his early years, and living out many adventures I can only dream about. He's a writer, a director, an athlete, a man who fell in love with my devastatingly gorgeous mother, loved her well, and us, and has done the best he can along the way. He's a very special guy and I'm glad I know that now while he is around to hear me say it. Thank you Dad, for all you do, for the pieces you picked up after Mom died, and for letting me share this special day with you. Happy Birthday, Dad, I love you!
Thanks for tuning in...Until next Monday...CHEERS!!
PS. A special shout out to Maria, my 7th. grade Biology classmate who I am one day older than and who still is one of my dearest friends....In sickness and in Martinis...thanks for all our years of friendship!! Happy Birthday!!!