Twenty-five years ago
Saturday June 06th 2009, 4:30 pm
Filed under: Family

Hi, Mom and Dad, it’s a boy! Just like I told everyone he was going to be (although, no, there was no ultrasound done; it just had felt like this one was definitely a boy, and so he was.)

“You missed my birthday,” growled Dad good-naturedly.

I told him that well, the doctor I wanted wasn’t on call the day before, and I wasn’t going to have my baby till he was going to be the one to deliver him.  End of story. Sorry about that.

Well, in that case, he guessed I was forgiven.  And Dad got a good laugh out of it, knowing that yes, I would indeed have gone out of labor if I hadn’t gotten the doctor I wanted.  I’d inherited Dad’s stubborn streak.

All the stories I could mercilessly tell on this 6’9″ little boy of mine.  The fingers dipped in the oil floating at the top of the natural peanut butter that he then ran down the newly-painted wall, at age two, of the house we were trying to put on the market.  We had to sand it down before we could paint it again.  Of the time he…

Well, let’s just say he was a normal, active little boy.  He filled all the lines on the massive x-ray chart at the clinic and they had to start a new page.  He is someone who I had to explain to a pediatrician (not his regular one, who knew him) as, this one doesn’t feel pain much, and if he *does* complain of pain, something’s wrong–listen up.

As a kid, he got hit by a car on his bike (just like his dear old Mom did at age nine) and ignored it and went to go play in his soccer game anyway and thought he could get away with not telling anyone–he didn’t want to let his teammates down.  He got bitten by a gopher he was trying to pick up to protect it from the kids on the playground who were stomping on its mounds.  Got a heart of gold, that kid does; we were assured that gophers don’t carry rabies and that the gopher had definitely been provoked, even if not by him.

He volunteered for a mission for the Mormon Church, being willing to go into the chaos that was Haiti, studying Haitian Creole, and then being reassigned to southern Florida when all Americans were ordered out of that country for safety’s sake shortly before he was to arrive.

Thus he was in southern Florida during all those hurricanes a few years back; he cooked and served hot meals for the Red Cross shelter, and lived for a time near Barbara Walker’s home.  (She and I swapped a few hurricane stories on the phone once.)

He had placed sixth for fluency in French for non-native speakers for all of northern California in high school; Haitian Creole, the old slaves’ French, was easy for him to pick up.  And thus, in one of those Red Cross shelters, he was able to translate for a woman with a severe heart situation to the paramedics, writing down in English what she was telling him.  He was told he’d saved her life.   A news crew came in, looking for a human interest story in the storm, and people pointed him out.  But there were hundreds of salisbury steaks needing cooking and people who were hungry.  When he later emailed me the link to the newspaper story, he added, Mom, your, um, hero son–they got in my way! I had work to do!

And he told me that if he never accomplished anything else during his two-year stint, he now knew why he had to learn that language and receive that calling: to be able to be there in that place in that moment when that woman so needed him.

He later picked the best daughter-in-law I could ever have hoped for, and thank goodness she picked him too.  He loves her dearly for now and forever.  Happy birthday, Richard!

(I’ve been corrected–there were no paramedics at first because nobody knew the woman needed one.  She’d simply given up.  Richard got asked, since he could speak her language, to go ask her if she needed anything. Uh, yes.  She did.)

15 Comments so far
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Happy birthday, Richard!

What an amazing man he’s turned out to be, eh? Good thing you raised your children to focus more on serving than interviews. I’m sure that’s one human interest story they wish they had better footage for, but the irony of it all… He was even then where he knew he should be, doing what he was called to do!

Comment by Channon 06.06.09 @ 5:23 pm

happy birthday to richard and your dad, later in the month is my sister’s birthday, and 1 hour and 7 minutes after her 21st birthday I gave birth to her 2nd niece. I couldn’t do it on her birthday although I was trying like hell

Hope you feel better soon—down and out for the count myself!!!

Comment by grace 06.06.09 @ 5:42 pm

Sweet! I’m amazed at anyone learning a language well enough to understand a native speaker in distress!

Comment by suburbancorrespondent 06.06.09 @ 6:42 pm

Happy birthday, Richard! (and a belated one to Alison’s dad)

Comment by Lene 06.06.09 @ 7:50 pm

He obviously comes from good stock.

Comment by sherry in idaho 06.06.09 @ 7:53 pm

My heavens! With all the nasty people we read about in the newspaper, it is so heartening to know about people like you and your family. Obviously, you and Richard (husband)have done something right!

Well, I can’t top that story with humor, but you may have some anyway:

~ In a non-smoking area:
If we see you smoking, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action.

~ Sign on a highway in Jacksonville:
Caution: Water on road during rain.

~ On junk yard building in North Carolina:
Drive recklessly; it helps our business.

~ On a ski lift in New Mexico:
No jumping from the lift. Survivors will be prosecuted.

~ A sign seen on a restroom dryer:
Do not activate with wet hands.

~ In a grocery store:
Snickers, 5 for $1 (Limit 4)

~ At a motorway garage:
Please do not smoke near our petrol pumps. Your life may not be worth much, but our petrol is.

~ At an optometrist’s office:
If you can’t see, what you are looking for, you have come to the right place.

~ Outside a muffler shop:
No reservations needed. We hear you coming,

~ At a maternity clothes shop:
We are open on Labor Day.

~ At an electric company
We would be de-lighted, if you send in your payment. However if you don’t, you will be.

Comment by Don Meyer 06.06.09 @ 9:06 pm

Happy birthday Richard! He sounds like an amazing person & son. You must be bursting with pride:)

Comment by TripletMom 06.06.09 @ 9:08 pm

Happy Birthday, Richard. You certainly take after our Alison. With that kind of a soul, I know you will have a happy day, no matter what comes your way.

Comment by Barbara-Kay 06.07.09 @ 4:57 am

He sounds like one heck of a kid. I’m so glad that God chose him to be yours.

(And, I’m so glad you shared some of those stories so I wouldn’t feel so bad about some of the things my little boy has done!)

Comment by Momo Fali 06.07.09 @ 5:21 am

Happy Birthday to a great guy! Love the mischievous stories of his younger years. We moms have tons of those.

Comment by Jody M 06.07.09 @ 5:34 am

I’m pretty sure that apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Happy birthday, Richard!

Comment by (formerly) no-blog-rachel 06.07.09 @ 6:41 am

what a wonderful story! He is a very special guy, but I’m wondering if all the kids born on that special date are like that. My daughter turned 26 yesterday, and she is a gem!!

Comment by Bev 06.07.09 @ 8:07 am

Happy birthday to your son, he sounds like a wonderful person.

Comment by Henya 06.07.09 @ 9:52 am

Happy Bday Richard – I know you worked hard to be the man you are but I also know you come from good stock —

And Alison I still want to know what you feed those men in your family – dang they are tall and handsome 😀

Comment by rho 06.07.09 @ 3:59 pm

Happy birthday to Richard and your dad!!!

I agree with Rho, what are you feeding the men? They grow like weeds 😉 (This coming from a girl that’s tall as well, haha)

Comment by Alicia 06.08.09 @ 12:05 pm

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