I Shouldn’t Tell. I Couldn’t Tell. Okay, I’ll Tell.

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Last But Not Least

Leave me alone. I can do it myself.

Sibling Position #8 – 18 years younger than me.

Although I noticed very little as a teenager, I did notice, in my senior year of high school, that Mom had been sick for several weeks. She came home from her teaching job exhausted and spent her time at home wrapped up in a quilt on the sofa. When she and Dad called a family meeting, I burst into tears, expecting the worst. Then they told us Mom was pregnant.

Mom Pregnant at my high school graduation

Mom Pregnant at my high school graduation

Drying my tears, I heard sobbing from the corner of the room, as my 21-year-old sister imagined the humiliation she’d  endure when her college friends discovered her parents still had sex. Ewwww!

Mom and I got busy arranging for the new sibling. A classmate and I spent the last semester of our Home Economics class frantically sewing maternity clothes – one set for my mother and one set for her.

At the end of the summer Mom and I  worked to squeeze a crib into her tiny bedroom.

Certain she’d had enough boys, we pasted cutouts of Holly Hobby dolls on the wall and bought pink dresses and blankets.

With her previous pregnancies, Mom’s doctor encouraged her to keep smoking as they’d determined it kept the size of the baby smaller, making for an easier delivery.  He’d also prescribed diet pills (amphetamines at that time) that she took during pregnancy, so she could fit back into her girdle and long-line bra as quickly as possible after the birth.

But, now it was the 70’s and danger lurked around every corner. For the first few minutes after Craig was born, Mom refused to open her eyes, certain that he’d be completely deformed from the fumes she’d inhaled at the ceramic’s class she’d taken before she realized she was pregnant.

None the worse for wear, Craig came into the world at a healthy eight pounds plus. I’ll never forget the blissful smiles on may parents’ faces as they walked in the door with him.

I can’t say the same for little brother, John, who was being replaced after ten years as the baby in the family. Craig says he was well into his teens before Mom and Dad convinced him that he was not the adopted stray John said he was.

Craiger McGregor

Craiger McGregor

Mom spent the next eighteen years being an overprotective mother to her littlest one. Dad spent the time trying to toughen him up. The picture to the left is a perfect example. As Dad coerced Craig to go higher, Mom yelled from the porch to get him down before he fell and broke his arm. Which is exactly what Craig did – fall and break his arm, I mean.

Perhaps, like my mother, I’m feeling overprotective. All the stories I can think to share about Craig are just too embarrassing.

I shouldn’t tell you the story about the time, as a four-year-old he stood on the hood of the car at a baseball game with his pants around his ankles, peeing like the famous Manneken Pis statue in Belgium.

And I couldn’t tell you about the time when Craig, as a fourteen-year-old boy special ordered an item using Dad’s credit card.  The package arrived….no, no. I’ll stop right here. I wouldn’t want to embarrass him.

Wait. What am I saying?

Okay, I’ll tell.  The package arrived – and because Craig had used his parent’s credit card it was addressed to Dad.

At dinner, Dad opened the package.  His brow furrowed in confusion.  He looked across the table at Mom and said, “Ginger? Are you trying to tell me something?”

6 thoughts on “I Shouldn’t Tell. I Couldn’t Tell. Okay, I’ll Tell.

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