I always begged to hear the story of how I was born.
Roxy had a poncho. A pregnancy poncho. Necessary in rainy April.
I really love the rain.
And she wore it endlessly during her pregnancy with me, and it ended up being her uniform. On the day I decided to come out and play, they made way to the hospital. Kim was early, Amanda was late, and I was right on time. My dad dropped my mother off at the wrong end of the hospital and went to park. She had to walk herself around to the right end of the hospital and I was born not long after.
I was fascinated by the poncho. And the timing.
At the Grace Hospital, they had piloted a project of keeping Mothers and Newborns in the same room. I was born just before Days of our Lives, and I think we watched it together. She ate corn beef hash and we slept and rested for a day or two.
Then we left the hospital.
I cried from the moment we got in the car and the hour home. I cried from the car to the house, the door to the bed, back to the living room, the kitchen, the armchair, the floor. I cried and I cried and I cried until my parents didn’t think they could handle another second.
But they did. And I cried some more.
I cried for almost a day and a half, small breaths of sleeping just to gain strength to cry until I said my piece.
And then I stopped. And didn’t really say too much for 10 years.
My other favorite story was The Country Mouse and The City Mouse.
My mother had to tell me this one a lot too. Growing up in the country, I loved the idea of scurrying about the city, eating nice cheese and standing in cool shadows of tall buildings.
In moms story, the Country Mouse always had rollers in her hair. And Roxy often did. And I often did too. Amanda had short hair, and mine was long… I think it was to tell us apart. Or so we could be apart. Different even though we were so the same.
My first day of Kindergarten, my rollers got caught in my long, long dark hair and Roxy had to cut them out. Cut the hair, wrapped in the roller, straight off my head. She clipped a bow in place of the missing tuft of hair. And put me on the bus. I think we both cried. But I think we both swallowed it because we both so badly wanted me to go to school.
My mother taught me my 9x tables by making a rap song. My mother encouraged me to go outside when I was bored and make a salad out of potatoes and leaves, which we rolled our eyes at but did anyway. My mother let me tape together 20 pieces of my dads accounting spreadsheets, so I could use the grid to build “to scale” cities, including malls and small transit systems. And she then allowed me to to move the furniture out of the living room, so I could lay out my spreadsheets and assess my creation. My mother pardoned me from a school suspension because although I behaved stupidly, I did the right thing. My mother called me a few weeks ago, apologizing for being practical about my plans to go back to school. Because she wants me to follow my dreams… and there isn’t always room for practicality to make dreams a reality.
Happy Birthday Roxy Roller.
Thank you for my crazy and for being such a great mother.
xo country city mouse
*Special Attention to the workout video at 5:56.