I was inspired to chronicle the years of my life by one of my favorite bloggers Heather from Nothing But Bonfires. Her writing style is amazing, and I almost always envy everything she writes. I’ve always had this odd idea, that one day when I’m old and grey I will have my old blogs bound as journals for my children. Then they will really know what their parents were like before they become all parental and uncool. So I think this timeline idea is just a wonderful way to document a life. So in the next few months, I hope to get one up for every year of my life.
I entered the world on May 17th, 1986 at midnight in a hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. But at the time, my mother, father, and ten year old brother were living in Stanford, Illinois. They had recently moved there for job opportunities, so when my mother went into labor a week early, they drove over two hours to be with her doctor. But even though I came prematurely, I didn't want to enter the world, and my mother labor's stretched on for a day and a half, before I was delivered by Cesarean section. I would think I was an "accident" for years, because I once did the math between when my parents married and when I was born, and it didn't add up. But I got the courage to ask to my mother one day, and she told me she knew she was going to marry my father, so they decided to go ahead with the "baby making."
My paternal grandfather was a pilot and owned a plane. So when I'm two weeks old, he flies to Missouri to pick up my mother, me, and our poodle, Monique, to visit family in Texas. During the flight, they encountered a bad storm and the flight became extremely turbulent. My mother glances in the cock pit and my grandparents are pouring over maps, and she is sure we are going to crash. She makes her peace with our death, and braces for the worst. But they eventually touch down safely. When my mother glances at Monique, she notices her legs are cardboard straight, and she does not budge for hours.
By the time I turned 6 months, my mother leaves my father due to domestic violence, and we move back to small apartment in St.Louis. My father moves to his hometown in Texarkana, Texas. One night at dinner, my brother tells my mother he wants it to stay just the three of us forever.
I am a happy baby, but I never sleep which is not easy on my mom. I am slow to walk and talk, although my mother feels I have the ability to do so, I just don't. Instead I stubbornly crawl on just my knees for months. My mother does not consider this odd, until my cousin Alicia babysits me one day, and comments that she has never seen anything like that before.
Every weekday morning, my mother drops me off at a professional babysitter's house before going to work. One morning I am fussy before she drops me off, which makes the birthmark on my forehead red and very noticeable. When I am calm, I have no birthmark at all. When my mother comes to pick me up, the babysitter voices concerns that I am being abused. My mother has to call my pediatrician to provide proof.
My mother's parents come to visit, and take me back to Texas to spend some time with my father. They work their way through the St.Louis Airport, and make it to the gate with plenty of time to spare. My grandfather promptly falls asleep (many stories told in our family have to do with my grandfather sleeping) and my grandmother is so preoccupied with me, that they don't notice their flight is boarding and they don't get aboard. My mother is baffled by how two adults can miss a flight that they were seated right in front of.
My mother buys a home in Spanish Lake, a suburb in St.Louis. The house is nice sized with three bedrooms and a huge basement. My brother makes the basement his room, but it takes months before he finds the courage to sleep down there at night. Years later after he is gone, I will make my room in the basement. But it only takes me three days before I am sleeping down there all night. The house is painted ugly shades of black and red, which we later paint yellow and blue.
I like to play with our dog Monique. But sometimes I am a little rough with her, grabbing tufts of hair and not letting go. One afternoon my mother returns from doing laundry in the basement to find that I have Monique in a death grip. Monique does not try to save herself. Instead she sits around waiting for my mother to save her. Monique hides from me for years after that incident.
Every fall weekend, my brother has to fill up a trashcan with leaves. Once he has a full trash can, he always picks me up and throws me in. He lets me jump in the leaves and I squeal with joy. This is a tradition we carry on for years. It is one of my favorite memories of my brother.