Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Baby Boy Jay

Nurse: "Ok, let's get you a wheel chair and take you to Labor."

Me: "I think you'd better take me to Delivery. This baby's in a hurry."

Nurse: "Hohoho. All mothers think that. It'll be a while, you know."

Me: "No, it'll be a few minutes, and if you don't want to deliver it yourself, out here in the hall, you'll take me to the delivery room, now." (Doubles over in pain.)

Nurse: "Now????? Omigawd!"

Jay almost beat the doctor. What a day that was, thirty-nine years ago, today. My doctor told me later that if I planned to have more children, he was going to rent me a room across the street from the hospital for the month before it was due. Haha. What a card.

And, that's also the last time Jay got in a hurry about anything, for a long time.

I have very vivid memories of my children at various ages, and I think the most vivid one of Jay is while he was still in diapers, he loved to put on his cowboy hat and sling his gun and holster around his middle and play for hours. He also had a little red convertible that he used to pedal around the house. He'd jump into it, pedal furiously to the bathroom door, jump out and go in, come out, get in it again, and pedal back to wherever he started.

He was very curious about how things were put together. I got a phone call from my neighbor one day, and she asked, laughing, "Do you know what Jay is doing?" I said, "He's in the back yard." She said, "Yes, and he is dismantling your lawn mower". I thought his dad would never get it put back together. And, the language!

When he was in pre-school, he had several little three-piece suits in his closet, because, he reasoned, school was like work, and daddy always wore a suit to work. What a little dude. You should see what he wears, now. He always knew what everyone's parents were driving, and when we arrived at pre-school, he would look at the cars and say, "Julie's here, Jeff's here, etc."

When his sister was in grade school, he went with me to pick her up, and when we stopped in the line of waiting cars, he would get out and walk up and down the sidewalk entertaining the other mothers. I could see him talking away, waving his arms, but didn't know what he was saying. Then, one night at a PTA meeting, one of the mothers came up to me and asked, "How many children do you have?" I said "Two." She started laughing and said, "Jay says he has a brother, one younger sister, and one older sister, who's real mean." Then, she regaled me with some of the other tall tales that my little half-pint was telling, and I decided he was quite the little raconteur.

And, to think, when he was a baby, we didn't think he was EVER going to start talking. Part of the problem was that his big sister was at his beck and call. All he had to do was point at something, such as the fridge, and she'd open it and get him whatever he wanted. In fact, it took him so long to talk, that when he finally did say something, he used full sentences. His first utterance was, "Now, that's incredible!"

I learned very early that I had to give him time to think something over before he would actually try to do it. His pre-school teacher once asked me if Jay knew the alphabet. I told her that of course, he did. Didn't she know? And, she said he wouldn't say it for her. That evening, I told him that his teacher thought he couldn't say the alphabet, so the next day, he went in and recited it for her. It hadn't occurred to him that he had to prove he knew it.

In kindergarten, when his teacher told them to bring a box for their belongings, he piped up with, "All we have are beer boxes." Good thing she was a friend, and knew we got the empty boxes from the local country club because they were sturdy for packing things away.

It was the same way with swimming. I signed him up for lessons and he sat on the side of the pool, watching, the whole two weeks. Then, we went to Florida, and when we got into the hotel pool, he swam like Johnny Weismeuller. He just had to watch until he thought he could do it.

In High School, he was on the golf team, and has the trophies to show for it. He was also the editor of the school paper, and the sponsor has the scars to show for it. She was also his English teacher, and another friend of mine. He threw down the gauntlet the first day of her class, when he had to write a paper on what he expected from her in that class. His paper consisted of only a line or two, saying he expected her to make him interested in learning English. And, they were off!

I can't talk about his early college days, because, after reading his blogs, I've decided I don't know anything about them at all. And, mercifully so. I can tell you how proud I am of him for persevering and finally receiving his degree, after working full time, and taking time out, occasionally, to work some more, and save, in order to go back.

And, now, he's all grown up. What a source of amusement, amazement, and comfort he has been, and still is. But, I'm sure you can tell what he's all about, if you read his blog consistently. Beneath all that bluster and humor, he's a sweet, compassionate, gentle soul, and don't ever let him convince you otherwise.

Happy Birthday, my son. I wish you happiness.


Sister--Three said...

Jay sounds like someone I know. I was editor of my high school paper. I invented family fit my needs. I hope you got to see him on his birthday!
Your other side.

dc said...

Ohhhhhhhhh. How nice, I will go to his blog and wish him a Happy Birthday. My son will turn 40 in May. I could relate to some of your story! You are very lucky to have such a son.

Peggy said...

I would pay hard cash to see a photo of Jay in his diaper and cowboy outfit.

When I noticed that he had mentioned his birthday, I automatically thought of the person who had to do all the work (you!). They grow up pretty fast, don't they?

Annie said...

Happy birthday to your boy, Betty. I enjoyed reading your birthday letter to him/about him.

Rosie said...

That was beautiful, the last line actually nearly brought a tear to my eye, and I consider myself to be quite hard faced! My mother actually convinced me to get a blog on here, and I think she really enjoys reading what I've written; although I've just moved out for the first time into a new flat and still ring her every day so she hasn't got rid of me yet!
Lovely writing,
I shall be back,
Rosie x

Tink said...

Awesome post! I was cracking up at the beer boxes and alphabet. I imagine Jay was a cute little half pint.

claude said...

My daughter just turned 22. I was an old Mom ;)
Just like you thought your son would never talk, we thought our daughter would never walk! She was too busy babbling and crawling everywhere.
Kids have so much to learn at the same time!

Cazzie!!! said...

Beneath all that bluster and humor, he's a sweet, compassionate, gentle soul, and don't ever let him convince you otherwise.


her indoors said...

what a lovely post to Jay, sounds like he has always had the ability to make us smile and dont we just love him for it.

Newt said...

I'm kinda speechless. That was just the sweetest thing.....

patsy said...

this was a great story about your son. sons are a joy.

Queen of Dysfunction said...

Awwww.... loved the story and what a son you have!

graymama said...

Where do I start...

My shirt is covered in tears. This was a post only a mama could write. As I read, I could easily imagine the young CB doing all of these things, and it made me wonder what Buddy will be like as he grows into a boy and a man.

Thanks Betty for sharing these memories with us and bringing such a special person into this world :-)

Maya's Granny said...

Jay sounds very much like my Julie -- being born early was the last thing she did early in her life (she's 41 now) and her first word was "Where's the little dog?"

She always had to watch and see how things were done, and then do them wonderfully.

Melly` said...

You are both just gorgeous.


HoosierGirl5 said...

Wow, I'm glad I'm came back to read that. It was good. I learned a lot!