Chris M . . .

It was on this day in 1978 that Sandy woke me early in the morning with those frightful, yet exciting words, “Honey, I believe it is time to go to the hospital!”  What a way to start the day.

I jumped up and began scrambling around, while she very methodically woke three-year-old Courtney and dressed her and packed a small bag for each of them. She also fixed Courtney a light breakfast. Soon, we dropped Courtney off at Mrs. Duffy’s home (her three-year-old preschool teacher at the Methodist school). Courtney knew that she had a little brother coming . . . well, I suppose as much as a three-year-old can know such a thing. We made it to the hospital and Chris soon made his appearance (47 minutes after Sandy waking) . . . the dude was hollering like there was something terribly wrong. Mom was doing just fine, so after hugging and thanking her, I made my way down to the nursery to perform my job. I strutted like a rooster and captured everyone I could, escorting them to the window to admire my new son!

A couple of days later Sandy and Chris were discharged from the hospital, I stopped by Mrs. Duffy’s house and picked up Courtney to go meet her new brother. When we loaded Mom and baby into the car, Chris was crying loudly and soon had a smelly diaper . . . Courtney instantly had second thoughts about this whole matter. Of course, those were pre-car-seat days, so Sandy sat in the passenger seat holding Chris, I drove, and Courtney sat on the arm-rest between the two front seats. As we drove along, I watched her sweet little face in the rear-view mirror as she took it all in and I knew she was wondering just how good it would be to have such a noisy and stinky little grouch around all of the time. As we drove along Archer Street headed home, Courtney spotted a Shetland pony that had tethered in the right-of-way to graze, she looked up at me and asked, Daddy, let’s trade Brother for that pony . . . the pony would be more fun!

Of course, we didn’t make the trade . . . but there have been a few times over the years when Mom, Courtney, and I all three have debated the wisdom of our not even having made at least an attempt at making a trade. Today, I am glad that we didn’t trade the stinky little rascal for that pony! He has made a fine man and is the Dad to two beautiful girls: Ali and Abi!

Happy Birthday, Buddy . . . I love you!

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