Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Birthday Post, This Time My May's

Thirty-seven years ago today that girl was born to me. I have told the story so many times. The first time I mentioned it was on my second post written eight years ago and if you care to, you can go HERE and read it.

May was born at home which was a ten-by-fifty foot trailer with red wall-to-wall carpet, deep in the woods just about seven miles down the road from here and she was delivered by my midwife friend, Ellen, who had had to go back to town before I delivered to catch another baby who decided to beat May in the baby race and got to my place, just as the sun was coming up and May was coming out.
Born at dawn.
She still likes to get up early, that one.

How can that day have been thirty-seven years ago? I just don't understand it. I remember the midwives and my friends tidying everything up and leaving in time to go home and deal with their families for the day. I will never be able to thank them enough for the grace they showed me. I remember getting dressed a few hours later so that we could take perfect May into town for her first doctor exam. I remember the doctor looking at her little navel cord, tied with a shoe string (we had sterilized it!) and cooing in delight. Thank god we got him and not the one who had tried to convince me not to have a home birth by bringing in Sainted Doctor Brickler to warn me of the dangers of home birth and who had looked at me kindly and said, "Well, if you have any problems, come on in and we'll help you," leaving the physician speechless in complete and utter bafflement.
I remember coming back home and being so glad to be in my tiny trailer with my Hank and my husband and my beautiful, precious new baby, her hair and eyes so dark. She was a wise thing. I could tell. She nursed and we slept and I got up and made a supper of chicken and peas and potatoes from the garden and it was one of the best days of my entire, whole life. I was twenty-three years old, the mother of an almost-two year old, strong and so high on the birth of my baby that I probably could have run a marathon with her in my arms.

And then we went to bed and we woke up and it's thirty-seven years later and she is my twin, my heart, my soul. As I always say- between the two of us- one is redundant. We not only look alike, we sound alike, we think alike, we laugh at the same evil things.
She is not me, however. She is May. May Ellen Thigpen. She is brilliant and art-talented like you cannot believe. She has the voice of the family. She can write like nobody's business and has kept a journal since she learned how to hold a pen and make words. She works harder than anyone I know. She is an amazing cook. She loves to read.
And she has a heart as big as the universe.
And of course, she's beautiful, although I feel weird saying that because she looks so much like me, or at least, like I used to look. But she is. Beautiful. Heart, soul, face, blood, bone. Strong and kind and funny and loving and giving.

Here's a funny thing- two older ladies come into the cafe where May is manager and server and they adore May. They literally adore her. I have met them and they spent at least five minutes telling me just how precious and wonderful my daughter is, how lucky I am to be her mother.
Turns out that one of those ladies is the wife of Sainted Doctor Brickler.
Odd how these things happen, isn't it?

She's having brunch today with her fellow and her father and other-mother and in a few hours I'm going to go to town to spend a few hours with her. She doesn't want the big party this year. And Jessie's out of town and Lily is working and so it goes. We'll all get together for Hank's birthday.

I just got an e-mail from one of my brothers. In it, he said, "I've always been in love with May's spirit so much."

He's not the only one.

Happy birthday, my darling May! I did good work the day I had you. Thank you for coming to me.
Your mama.


  1. Wishing your beautiful girl a very happy birthday and many more. I've always loved the name May. My favourite baby doll when I was little was called May and I had her for years. Doesn't compare to a real baby, but still.

  2. Happy birthday to your darling May and to you!

  3. Loved reading every word of this!

  4. Did you name her May because she was born in May? My mom's middle name was May because she was born in May and now it is my middle name and my daughter's just because beautiful names belong in a family. I have made my daughter swear an oath that she will keep the name going.

  5. I read this with a smile on my face. We love May too. Happy birthday, sweet woman xx

  6. Happy birthday, beautiful May. And happy birthday day to you, dear Mary. You're both beautiful. And I do wish that May would start writing a blog again -- I loved reading her stuff.

  7. What a beautiful tribute to your lovely daughter. Happy Birthday May!

  8. Happy birthday to both of you! So gorgeous! x

  9. Happy Birthday May, beautiful inside and out like your Mother!

  10. What a photo! And such a lovely birthday tribute. Happy Birthday to May!

  11. Wishing many happy returns of the day to your beutiful daughter, May!

  12. What a great photo! May really DOES look like you. You're both beautiful, and I wish her a happy (belated) birthday!

  13. Happy Birthday to your Baby girl!
    Of course she's a wonder, she's your girl.

  14. What a lovely post. Happy Birthday May...You are both beautiful.

  15. jenny_o- It is a beautiful name, isn't it? For a beautiful woman. My baby doll's name was "Baby Sister." I think. I remember exactly what she felt and smelled and looked like. I miss her.

    Joanne- Thank you, love!

    A- We do love our birth stories, don't we?

    Birdie- I did! And her middle name is "Ellen" for my midwife. But here's the crazy thing- unbeknownst to either me or my husband, his grandmother was named Ellen and his great-grandmother was named May! Or vice-versa. Still. How cool, huh?

    Jo- She is worthy of so much love.

    Elizabeth- I beg her all the time! She's such a good writer.

    Jennifer- Thank you!

    Mwa- That was several years ago when I was younger and cuter.

    Maggie May- And like you and yours...

    Denise- I love remembering my babies' birth days. They were the most magic days of my life.

    messymimi- Thank you!

    Steve Reed- You should hear her and see her move. It's a bit weird.

    Yobobe- All of our babies are wonders, aren't they? And their babies too

    e- I used to be. Sigh. Thank you, sweetie.

  16. Belated happy birthday wishes to your beautiful daughter-twin!

  17. The story of May's birth and life is amazing. So glad that she is like you. Happy belated to May.


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