Presenting

Yesterday, received a very cool birthday present from my grandparents: a letter my father wrote them, five days after I was born, letting them know about me.

I was apparently two weeks late, a habit I have retained to the present day. (Well, okay, in many areas of my life I've caught up a great deal; sometimes I'm only five minutes late to some things.)

I was "truly a child of the New Age," apparently. Oh, and I "was wailing before we could hold him up and spank him in the traditional manner"—yup, I still tend to complain before it's strictly necessary to do so. Old habits die hard.

(And the next sentence after that: "This is probably to be expected from a double Aries with Gemini rising--the irrepressible life-force of the universe dramatically announcing itself. . . ." Okay, so that doesn't sound so much like me, but I do still tend toward melodrama.)

Perhaps the most interesting bit is the paragraph in which he informs them that his previous marriage has been annulled, and that he and my mother "were legally married several months ago in a civil ceremony"; I knew that they'd gotten legally married while Marcy was pregnant with me (I think they were unofficially married by a friend before I was conceived, but I'm not certain of that), but it somehow hadn't occurred to me that there'd been any question about Peter still being married to his previous wife, or that my grandparents were unhappy about that situation. Later parts of the letter indicate that things were not so good between my father and his parents at the time; not sure I knew that. (My grandparents annotated this letter slightly before sending it to me; one of the bits they underlined was the sentence about the legal marriage. I'm guessing they thought it would be important to me to know that.)

I'm also amused at this: "The baby likes 'Music for Zen Meditation', all kinds of Indian music, Joan Baez, some very lyrical jazz sides, and the Beatles once in a while...." Really the only one of those that stuck was the Beatles. And perhaps a little Baez. (In the letter, Peter quotes a couple songs from Rubber Soul, which is probably still my favorite Beatles album, but the songs he quotes aren't the ones I like on that album.)

Those of you who have or are intending to have kids, I urge you to write about them; it's pretty cool to get to read this stuff. (I already had the equivalent letter that my mother wrote to her parents at the time; got that from my maternal grandmother's house ten or twelve years ago.)

Fran & Ed had the extremely cool idea of having their friends write letters to their then-unborn kidlet, to be delivered around the time she's 18, talking about what F&E were like before they were parents. I still haven't done that yet, but seeing this letter reminds me that I really should do that soon.

In unrelated birthday news, I meant to wish both David H. and Jessica E. a happy birthday on the same day as mine. But since I don't think either of them read my journal, I suppose that would be silly. Jessica (one of I think three Jessicas I know in California) is my usual counterexample to astrology, by the way; she was born on the same day of the same year as I was, within a hundred miles, and though we have some similarities, we're very different in many ways.

(Funny, that must've been running through my head last night, because I had a dream in which astrology figured prominently.)

Okay, enough rambling. Time to go read submissions.

Join the Conversation