My brother will never read this, so I feel safe to write this story. Yesterday, the 22nd, was my younger brother's birthday. I know-how unfair to be born so close to Christmas! So in the olden days, my mother went in to the hospital to have her baby. In those days, women got something called a "twilight" and the baby was taken out and voila! she had a baby. She only had one request from the doctor-pierce her ears while she was "out". She was too scared to get it done, because in the olden days someone used a needle and thread and left the thread in the hole to keep it open until it healed. You had to rub the thread around and put alcohol on it to keep it from getting infected.
Okay. I was 31/2 years old and my older brother would be six in February. One day my father said we had to go to Little Rock and pick up mother from the hospital. I remember he left us in the car, because in the olden days you could do that. I remember seeing him walking out of the hospital with mother. She was wearing her red cape. She was carrying something.
When they settled in the car, my brother and I peered over the top of the front seat. The seat went all the way across the car-no bucket seats in the olden days. I asked, "What is that?" She said, "This is your Christmas present. Santa Claus brought it for you." She peeled the covers back to reveal a thing they called a baby. I said, "I didn't ask for that. You can just take it back in there and get something else."
My older brother, being the oldest, said, "What are you calling it?" Daddy said, "His name is Stephen Lee." My brother said, "You can't call him that. Those are your names!" My father's and mother's names combined to make one name for their baby. So off we went home to show off the new baby to all the relatives and friends gathered to ooh! and aah! over "it".
People cannot believe that this is my true memory. Everyone thinks I got bits of stories and made a memory. But this is my true memory of that event. I especially remember the red cape.
My younger brother was my mother's "baby". I wasn't jealous, and he became my "baby brother". Since we lived on a major busy state highway, and we lived on a fish farm, mother had to hire someone to watch him during the day. He was constantly active. He inherited their night hours, and one never knew where he would be in the mornings when you woke up. They tried putting hooks on the screen door really, really high up. He got the broomstick and knocked it open. The woman who watched him during the day knew he was in trouble if he was really, really quiet and hiding. Once I remember the "art" he painted on the wall behind the t.v. (remember the really big old cabinets that t.v.'s were in?) and he had painted with one of the tubes of my mother's bright red lipstick. Remember the lipstick from the 50's? It was a permanent stain on the wall.
So we grew up and we are all in our 60's now. Happy Birthday! It's good you got your hair cut. And cleaned out your sewer line. Those are two important things to do on your birthday. Getting old means "Who cares-it's another birthday." Aren't you glad Mother didn't take you back just because I didn't ask for you?