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An Upcoming Anniversary

Next Tuesday will be my mother's birthday and also mine, as I was born on her twenty-first birthday. When I think of myself at twenty-one I stand in awe of her, especially after she told me my own birth story. I told her about the LaMaze classes Arthur and I were taking to get ready for Jessie's arrival.

[let me take a moment here and say that Arthur was the most mature and focussed of all the expectant fathers; when the other guys wanted to talk about the Knicks he'd ask the teacher, "Will you explain Braxton-Hicks again?"]

She told me, "Nobody told me anything even when I asked what was going on. A nurse just patted my hand and left me alone in a room. It was awful. Then when it got close, they knocked my out."

Here I'd been thinking that we've come a long way in treating pregnant women with dignity and respect.

This is Mom in her Girl Scout uniform, age about ten,

and here's my daughter Jessie age five.

there's a story about both of those smiles. Mom said, "“I sucked my thumb until I was a very big girl, way too big for such a baby habit. I can remember playing softball, standing in the outfield with my thumb in my mouth. The dentist told me I’d need braces. I really didn’t want braces. ‘Well, there’s one thing you can try, if you’ll keep at it,’ he said. ‘Put your tongue in front of your teeth and pull back. Do that every day and see if it helps.’ So I did it. I pulled my teeth back into place with my tongue and I never needed braces.” She always finished this story with a big grin to show off her beautiful straight teeth.

Sam said, "That's a fable. Her mouth grew and made room for her teeth, that's all." I say that's her legend. Why take it away from her? It says a lot about her character.

Sam said, "There's enough amazing about her without making anything up. How many professional golfers have four holes in one?"

The picture of Jessie was taken by Jessie's art teacher, my friend, Susan Cirigliano. At that point one of Jessie's baby teeth was hanging by a thread, giving her a snaggly-toothed look that we found adorable but she hated. Susan begged her to smile but Jessie absolutely refused.

Two indomitable women, neither of whom has ever once in her life been wrong.

Here we are in Istanbul. Everywhere we went people did a double take and asked, "Are you all related?"

Last week I told you how I got the inspiration for a new drawing and promised to show you the work in progress, or WIP. So here it is--it's going great.

Almost done.

May 12, 2022

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