Thursday, April 4, 2013
19 years ago yesterday was Easter Sunday. For a few weeks prior to that day, my middle brother, Joe (back then, he was called Joey or Mama's little mistake) and I had been playing a pranking contest between the two of us. We'd run up to the other and announce, in a frantic tone, that our very pregnant mother's water had broken. We'd watch as the other scrambled and prepared to go to the hospital only for the other one to give up the fact that he was just kidding. It normally resulted in one of us gloating, and the other crying.
On Easter night at around 10pm, we were all full from the fried foods and chocolate that make up a Southern holiday tradition. Dad was asleep in bed and Joe, Mom and I were sitting in the living room watching a tv show. During the commercial break, Mom went to go to the bathroom and Joe and I stayed watching the ads. A few minutes later, Joe walked down the hall to check on Mom and seconds later, he runs up and says, "Mom's water broke! The baby is coming!" I politely asked that he shut the $&^% up because I was trying to watch tv, but then he ran passed me into Mom and Dad's bedroom and jumped on the bed. When he woke up Dad - I knew that $#1) had just got real. You don't wake up a hibernating bear - no matter how badly you want to win a pranking contest.
Dad hopped out of bed so quickly I thought he had received a text message telling him that the "Hot - Fresh - Now" doughnut sign had turned on at Krispy Kreme. He slammed through the house to the bathroom and Joe and I followed nervously along. There we all found Mom saying, "I need some underwear! Where are my underwear?" I wanted to respond, "You see - if you had kept those damn underwear on we wouldn't be in this mess!" But, I thought it best to save that for a later conversation.
Dad whisked us all away to the hospital where my mother remained adamant that with this child, she would have a natural birth - no being poked and prodded and then ripped open at the seams to allow another fat baby to enter the world. So, after 20 some-odd hours of pushing, crying, screaming, getting on all fours in an effort to release that baby and then crying some more - my mother fulfilled her stupid, lifelong dream of forcing a child into this world naturally. Her dedication was rewarded with urinating on herself and 30 or so stitches.
For hours, Joe and I had sat anxiously in the waiting room and finally, Dad came and told us we could come back. I remember entering the room and seeing the pale legs of a newborn flapping around. His worm-like umbilical cord protruded from his stomach and his hair-covered head was shaped like a perfect cone. I charmingly asked, "What's wrong with his head?" and they explained that his head had taken that shape because my mom was in labor for so long, and that it would eventually go away. What won't go away however, is the photographic memory that I now have of my baby brother's skull molded into the form of my mother's vagina.
As they brought his slimy, little body over to me and placed him in my arms - I fell in love instantly. And today, we celebrate his 19 years on this planet. His cute, little cone head has now formed into just a plain big-ass head and I still love him. So, Happy Birthday to my baby brother, Andrew. I have been proud of you from the moment you entered this world and even prouder today of the man you have become. I love you.
(To read more writings from me, please check out my first ever book "stuck.at.seven [while awkwardly aiming for ten]" - now on Amazon!)