You weren’t supposed to happen. You came after a series of miracles.
First, we bargained for you on the old wooden picnic table in the kitchen of the old house.
In January 1978, we were hit by a white hurricane. The clouds were green above the falling snow. The barometer fell to 28.28, an unprecedented low in Cleveland weather history. Sometime on the 25th or 26th, you were conceived.
Your due date was given October 31st, so your siblings expected a baby ghost.
But you held out for five days. The umbilical cord was wrapped around your neck three times. Once could have extinguished the breath of life.
But no, you slid out pink, healthy, and pretty.
Your siblings fought to hold you.
I nursed you tree years and two months. You asked for it. “Me want lala.” Not many babies express their need in English. I quit before you did.
You coined an expression calling for both parents. It was either “madar” or “darma.”
Your first words were “woof woof.” Dad and I rode our children strapped in a baby carrier to our back, on bicycles up and down the streets of our neighborhood. When we passed a dog, you yelled out “woof woof.”
When you were older, like three or four, you simply sat in a small seat on the back of my bicycle. You would cover your head and arms with my t-shirt and snuggle next to me, skin on skin, all cozy like.
Once we had a near catastrophe. A big black lab attached while we were riding. Fortunately, you were not hurt, but the dog put a 12-inch gash in my leg from knee to hip. My jeans were ruined. I got a trip to the emergency room.
After that incident, dad thought I was safer in the classroom, so I became a 7th grade teacher again, and you went to kindergarten.
Your love of animals progressed from dogs to kittens to horses. But I won’t go there. This is supposed to be about early childhood.
The last in a line of girls. But always cherished and appreciated for your smiles and happy personality, by parents and older siblings, a joy, a jewel, for two old parents, who always gave thanks to God for all His gifts.