“Trouble always comes in threes.” at least that is what Bella used to say.
Sort of funny expression from a woman with three children. When two bad things happened you knew you had to buckle down and wait for the next one. I was so distant though. In birth order that is. Well in other orders too, I suppose. Again, Bella had the perfect explanation for that one.
“ You each are like only children.” She went on to elaborate: this was because my older brother was not only the first born but the first born and ONLY son. And then my sister came along at nearly an Irish twin pace (Bella warned me- “don’t believe you can’t get pregnant while breastfeeding that is a myth!” Didn’t want to let her know that nurses at UCSF also said as much after they also reminded my husband and I that teenagers should think about contraception. We met when we were teens (okay me) but didn’t get around to procreating until mid-twenties but hey who doesn’t enjoy being carded for cigarettes or wine when it is way past that birthdate. Sorry for the digression. Happens a lot round her and here so…) And my sister was Deaf. So she won that ribbon.
And then in the frozen Alaska tundra. A place where Bella created an ice skating rink with a garden hose and a moose stared her down while washing dishes at the kitchen sink. The doctors informed Bella she was about as fertile as the soil (not so much). So about five months later I came knocking on her door, so to speak. Which meant she had to say no to cocktail parties (seriously she told me time and again about the parties she missed because she was sutured up and the horror story of her friend who was put on bed rest but could not say no to cocktail parties – it was the twiggy ear after all mini dresses and kohl eyeliner were all the rage. Oh wait, no I wasn’t born in the 60’s.) and grew into a balloon. All for me. The woman who proudly informed me and everyone else with a gin and tonic by her side and cigarette in her hand that she weighed 99 pounds when my Dad returned from Vietnam, she gained more than half that because of me. (Maybe I had big dreams?)
Can’t help but think my Dad had some resentment for me, or at least the doctors whose solution to a baby trying to escape the womb at 5 months is to sew up the Mom. However I have to believe Bella that when she said it was worth it , she completely meant it. And truly she hated the cold so maybe it was not such a bad deal to be confined to a fluffy comforter during the oh so short sunny hours of winter in Alaska. Besides my brother and sister were more than capable to find their way home with flashlights from school. Google it. It’s true.