Last night at about 8:30 PM, I convinced my mother that she needed to guest post for me today, if for no other reason than the fact that she tells this story best. I also convinced her that I needed her to bring me the dress that I wore for our engagement party and rehearsal dinner so that I could wear it to work today. This is my life.
God sent us a beautiful curve ball into our lives 25 years ago today and I have been given the honor of a guest post!
Katherine spent the summer before her birth practicing ballet moves while standing up, hence she arrived by appointment on August 28, 1987 at 9:01 to yodeling music in the confines of Methodist Hospital.
Bill and I, of course, were there to meet her. With her as a bundle in his arms, Bill brought her to me and asked “What do we do?” And from a very nice cloud I whispered, “Talk to her.” His first words clearly were, “Welcome baby Katherine, we live on the Planet Earth.” Their conversations have never stopped.
Birthdays come and go, but of course the life changing birthday for Katherine occurred at the tender age of 2.
We were expecting a sibling who was almost 2 weeks late. Our household was getting wild but who could notice? We already had an almost two-year old running and at work. Plans were formed and if nothing worked out, I was going to be induced on August 28th. I remember thinking, Two babies with the same birthday? But after being pregnant for almost 42 weeks it sounded like a beautiful plan. Billy had different ideas and so he arrived on August 25th and got his own date. Sort of.
Katherine met Billy on the morning of August 25th just before she turned 2. She arrived with her beloved Grandma Boots who had wrestled her from a neighbor that took her when Billy quite suddenly seemed to be on his way.
We took her to the nursery and put on what she called The Special Coat. It was a blue hospital gown. Yes, she was impressed by fashion at a most early age. To get on her special coat, she first had to be de bandoliered.
In her free time with Grandma that morning, they had made a quick K-Mart run. Some kids probably played outside at the playground but my mother-in-law shopped those kids early. By Boots’ account she had taken refuge under some dress rack with two or three handbags zigzagging across her body, unwilling and unable to leave the store without them.
In this fashion she met Billy ready to roll – multiple purses and garmented up.
She thought he looked fine, but was clearly more impressed by the blue birth card with a bunny on it and proudly proclaimed he had a bunny bed.
As the story unfolded, we really did bring him home on August 28th, her second birthday. At the time I wondered if we would be paying for counseling somewhere down the road. Happy Birthday, have a sibling.
I cooked a spaghetti dinner. I now ask what was everyone thinking here, but this really is true – sort of my pioneer woman moment! Bill bought the Cookie Monster Cake. And Auntie Jan, Uncle Verne and the grandparents Bill, Juaine and Boots joined us.
The years following were hard. You cannot explain a calendar to a 3, 4 or 5-year-old no matter how bright they are. She could never understand how Billy could have a birthday first, because she was here first (good reasoning – there is something almost arbitrary about the whole deal). After a year or two we threw in the towel and just celebrated for both. Lots of cake and presents on each other’s days. Who cared about order!
Early birthdays would have included hotel towel wrapped souvenir objects as we frequently ended the summer on vacation with family and friends (sometimes 40 or more) in the Wisconsin Dells. Some birthdays were delayed with the terminal illness and death of a parent, but now with tears in my eyes I cannot believe the miracle we were entrusted with low those years ago.
Happy Birthday most beloved daughter. I cannot wait to see what happens next.