Monday, February 20, 2012

40 Years Ago on February 21, 1972

40 years ago my college roommate was visiting us in California from CT as she was out there for her brother's wedding. After the wedding, she came and stayed with us for a visit as we also lived in the San Francisco Bay area. I was not happy living out in CA being so far from family and friends while pregnant. I was not working as I'd been pregnant when we moved there and remember that it was fall of 1969. I had a lot of time on my hands and even though I was busy knitting, sewing and cooking, I was lonesome. We had moved there for the school year as my husband had resigned his commission in the US Naval Submarine Service and was in grad school at UC Berkeley. Having my BFF out to visit was just what I needed.

I still had 5 weeks to go until my due date in late March. Lorraine and I went into San Francisco one day and did the normal tourist things and wanted to ride the cable cars. Getting up on it was OK and we sat on the outside seats. My pregnancy uniform were different A line jumpers and my favorite one was a red, white and blue patchwork design pinwale corduroy that I wore most days. I was not the most graceful lady sitting on that cable car as you can imagine.

A night or two later, we all had gone to bed. All of a sudden my water broke and the labor pains started. I was up in a flash - probably the fastest I'd moved in months as I was quite big. Phil and Lorraine were asking me what was happening and what would happen next. My reply to them was, "I don't know as I haven't gotten to that chapter yet!" Next thing I did was to call the doctor. I threw some things in my overnight bag and I think we left soon after that for the hospital.

We had a new stick shift VW bug and an MGB sportscar. Phil and Lorraine helped me down the stairs and since Lorraine did not know about driving the MGB, Phil took that and Lorraine and I set off in the VW. I remember letting out some cries of pain and hearing Lorraine say, "Don't have this baby in the car with me!" All was going OK until we had to go over the railroad tracks. Oh, that bump hurt! Pulled into the ER, Phil carried me in and I remember telling the ER nurse, "I need something for the pain!" She must have thought, "If she thinks she's in pain now, just WAIT!"

Our close friends from the Navy were also at UC Berkeley and they got Lorraine to the airport the next morning. She flew back to the East Coast not knowing what was going on.

They tell you that you forgot the pain during labor. Well, don't believe that because I never did. I do remember when the anesthesiologist came into the labor room to give me the caudal, my ex had a fit as the doctor had on cowboy boots. I could have cared less if he were naked, covered with tattoos and had purple hair. He was the main with the needle full of the good stuff. He did tell me not to move or I could be paralyzed. Didn't scare me. Just give me the good stuff.

Enough of the background.

When I heard that it was a healthy girl, I put it all behind me and was absolutely THRILLED! What they say about a mother's love the minute you see and hold your baby is so TRUE! I felt it then and do 40 years later. Happy Birthday Tami!

My daughter was always inquisitive, adventurous, creative, intellectually curious and sensitive of other's feelings. She is still the same. In fact, to celebrate turning 40, she is running in a half marathon on a frozen lake in Siberia in a few weeks.

I won't say that raising her was all a bed of roses as she and I had many mother/daughter differences as we both are strong willed. Those times were minor compared to all the joy during the years that she brought to her us.

Watching my daughter grow, mature and experience each stage of her life has been wonderful. I saw her love of learning and how she channelled it into foreign languages (she speaks 4 foreign languages fluently and a 5th not as fluently). When I used to drive her to school mornings in high school, we often rode in silence as she was in the back seat talking/thinking to herself (in her mind) in a foreign language. I remember one day she told me that she loved to learn and school. I used to say, "Where did she come from? Not me!" I was in no way the student that she was. I credit that to her father's genes.

When I drove her up to college, said our tearful goodbyes and drove off, I glanced back as I got on the highway in VT and saw the Baker Library Tower steeple on the end of the town/college green. I knew my daughter was now gone from home for good but entering the world she loved. My job (and her father's) of raising her was over; she was now entering an adult world and preparing for her future. I cried and cried (sobbed is more like it) for a few miles heading away from Hanover, NH.

Now she is the mother to two girls (9 and 11) who are following in her footsteps - bright, intellectually curious, caring and sensitive. She is a fantastic mother and I'm in awe of her.

She is an educator and at every school she works at, she makes good friends with her students and many of their parents. Her students love taking her classes and respect her.

What can I say but that her father and I love her and are proud to be her parents!


  1. As Tami's mom, you get a LOT of credit for raising her to be the impressive woman that she is today. It didn't just happen, after all!

  2. Happy Birthday Tami and Tina. Well done!

  3. What a beautiful post for your daughter. You did a fantastic job in parenting ~ look at the amazing woman she has become. You supported her in all the right directions.

  4. Oh, Mom... You made me cry... Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart, for all you have always done for me... I love you so much!!

  5. Yes, I guess I should take some of the credit. I was the force behind switching schools in 5th grade.

    Tami: I love you. I know your tears were happy tears.

  6. Great story - thanks for sharing with us! Tamara's language skills ARE enviously impressive!

  7. Happy Birthday Tina and Tamara!
    Great story...


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