“What stories have you been told about yourself as a baby?”
My mom was in the hospital the next morning looking in the window at all the babies. Another woman in a hospital robe came to the window too. They were there to admire their babies, and each others. My mom pointed me out, apologetically, “She has a mark.”
“Oh, you’re lucky,” the woman said.
My mom thought the woman was bonkers to think that a red birthmark on the face of her new baby made her lucky in any sense of the word.
“Yes,” she said, “My two-year-old at home has a bumpy strawberry birthmark on the bridge of her nose. You’ll be able to cover your baby’s birthmark.
“Angel kissed,” is how my grandma always described my birthmark.
I was several months old when I got sick and couldn’t keep anything down. My mom got a ride to the doctor’s office with me in tow. The doctor was just leaving, but he stopped and examined me. He pinched the skin on my belly, and it pulled up and stayed where he pinched it. He told her I was dehydrated and for her to stop at the store and buy a Coke, shake the bubbles out of it, put it in a bottle and fed it to me. She did, and she always reminded me how I grabbed that bottle with my hands and sucked it down. I got better after that.
When my older sister went to kindergarten, she always came home with stories. One day she came home and told my mom, “Terry at school doesn’t believe that Jesus is real.” I was listening and responded, “What does she think, that he’s made out of rubber?”
My father had seven kids and didn’t want the neighbors to think we didn’t have enough food, so he was known to load up our plates. One time I asked for more meat, and held out my plate to him. My dad took a spoonful of mashed potatoes and plopped it down onto my plate, or so he thought. Instead, I pulled my plate back just as the potatoes slammed onto the table. “More meat.” My older brother and sisters around the table looked sheepish and tried not to laugh. My dad was not the type that would have thought that was funny. However, surprisingly, he had a slight upturn of his mouth and gave me more meat (and no potatoes).