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.