I was born when my parents were both 39 years old. That may not seem all that unusual now, but in 1946 it was not all that common to have a baby at that age – especially if you already had four teenage children!
I’m told by one of my sisters that this is the way they were told: Mama and Daddy had taken the four of them to a movie at the neighborhood theater, and as they were walking home, Daddy said, “Remember that trip to California we were going to take next summer? Well, we’re going to get something even better instead — a baby!” And they were all thrilled, she says.
Okay that’s Sis’s story, and she’s sticking to it. But I find it hard to believe that there wasn’t at least one of them grumbling under their breath, “I’d rather have the vacation.” Vacations were not a yearly thing, so any vacation was a big deal to them and one to California was a BIG trip, because they lived in the Midwest. But apparently they had all embraced the trade-off by the time I was born. See picture above. (A therapist would probably tell me that I’ve spent my whole life trying to prove to my siblings that I’m better than a vacation!)
I was always told by my parents that I was NOT an accident, and they always let me know I was loved, but I have to tell you that it is hard to picture a couple with daughters 16, 15 and 13 and a son 12, saying to themselves, “Wouldn’t it be fun to have another child!”
I’m told my name was picked by a vote. Luckily, my brother was the ONLY one who voted for “Trigger” – the name of Roy Roger’s horse.
Because of these circumstances, I was raised more or less by committee in my early years. I was a good child – I had to be – someone was watching me every minute! I am told that when I was a baby, Mama had to limit each of them to rocking me for 15 minutes so that they could all have a turn (can you say spoiled?). We have old home movies of me learning to walk with two teenagers on either side of me trying to keep me from falling.
Planned or not, it was a great life for me. I was an aunt when I was 3 years old. My two oldest nieces and oldest nephew, Connie, David and Susie, were really my contemporaries more than my siblings. And my parents always said later that having me, kept them young longer.
I believe God knows and has a plan for every baby that is ever conceived. I thank Him that my parents weren’t people who would have considered terminating a pregnancy because it came at an inconvenient time in life.