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Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Baby Graduate

See this guy?


His name is Nick. He graduated from high school last week. He is my baby brother. I am old enough to be his mother.

Nick was born six weeks after I graduated from college. I'm sure that when I was born and my mom thought ahead to the day when I'd be accepting my diploma from a university somewhere, she did not even begin to think that she might be 8 months pregnant.

I remember when my parents told us that there was a bun in the oven. My sister Shelley and I had come home from college for a weekend. I was a senior, Shelley a freshman. Right in the entryway of our house hung family pictures. On this particular trip, there was a little black and white filmy looking square of paper stuck in the corner of the frame of one of the pictures. The image was kind of pie-shaped with some black areas and some white blobby areas as well.

At the time, my mom and dad were building a house on land that had 2 ponds. The shape of their land was a little pie-shaped and the black blobby things in the picture in front of me could have been the ponds. So I reasoned that it was some kind of aerial or thermal picture of the land where they were building.

I don't remember how I figured out that what I was really looking at was an ultrasound picture. Maybe my mom told me? What I do remember is that my siblings and I were elated at the thought of having another sibling. There were four of us at the time, and when Nick was born, we would range in age from almost 22 to just turned 14.

Yes, the idea of a new baby was exciting. That is until Shelley and I were driving back to college and we realized that all of our friends would know that our parents STILL HAD SEX! Ewwwww! They were in their 40s for crying out loud!

Shopping for maternity clothes with your 42-year-old pregnant mother is pretty funny. We went to a maternity store one day and kept presenting her with options: "Mom, try this one." "Mom, I think you'd look good in this."

Finally, she said under her breath, "Would you girls please quit calling me 'Mom' in this store?" To which my sister replied, ""Grandma, what do you think of this one?"

As pregnancies tend to do when you're not the one who is pregnant, my brother's gestation flew by. Before I knew it, I had graduated from college and started a new job. I'm pretty sure my request for time off when my baby sibling was born was a new one for my boss, but she agreed.

The morning Nick was born, I finished getting ready for work early and thought maybe I should pack my suitcase, knowing the baby could make an appearance any day. However, being the dutiful employee that I was, I decided to go in to work early to get a jumpstart on some projects that were awaiting me.

I hadn't been at work more than 10 minutes when I got a call from home that my mother was in labor and I should make the 2 hour drive right away so I could be there for the birth. I shut down my computer, raced back to my apartment, threw some clothes in a bag and left. About 3 blocks from my apartment, I realized I didn't pack any underwear.

Any fool with a brain (is that an oxymoron) would know that underwear can be purchased in one of a zillion places and would have just kept going. But not me. I turned me car around, ran back into the apartment, grabbed some clean underwear and headed out again.

When I reached the hospital, I learned that my new sibling -- a baby brother -- had arrived just 5 minutes earlier, roughly the same amount of time it took me to go back home for the skivvies.

And now that baby brother isn't so much a baby anymore. Sitting at his graduation last week was a little surreal. I'm generally not a crier, so I wasn't boohooing, but I did find myself wondering how did that much time pass so quickly?

How is it that he aged almost 18 years, when I still feel like I could blend in to the student crowd on a college campus myself (all right, a little delusional, but back off...)?

How much more quickly will the next 5 years race by until I find myself at Annie's high school graduation?

How much trouble would I get into for punching the obnoxious people sitting behind me who kept screaming "Aaannngelll!" into my ear every time they spotted their graduate in the crowd? --- Ooops. Sorry. That was not part of my reflective mood, but it was certainly a thought I entertained more than once during the ceremony.

Anyway, congratulations to my baby brother. You should be proud of what you've done -- even if you are a "show out."


Gay Wakefield said...

And while you're reflecting on that passage of time, imagine what it feels like for me--your "old" professor--who went to your Butler graduation party and met your pregnant mother there. Now you have children racing toward teen years, your baby brother is out of college, my own daughter turned 30 a few months ago -- but I'm still the same age I was when you graduated from college. '-)

Cat said...

Awww, congrats to him!!

Beth Zimmerman said...

That was sweet, Amy! :) Congrats to Nick!

Eternal Lizdom said...

Very exciting and I know EXACTLY how you feel!! I have 2 brothers- one just finished his sophomore year in college and the other just finished his junior year of high school. Crazy on so many levels!

kimybeee said...

you know the saying that time flies as you get older - that saying was coined by someone about children, not adults! june 8th my children will then be referred to as a freshman and a junior in high school. we have a car in the driveway that belongs to our daughter. our son is an excellent hunter and killed a deer with his bow last fall while hunting ALL ALONE!

all of this is impossible of course because at one point they were both in diapers. and that had to have been yesterday. cause i can remember our daughter putting princess dresses on our son and them parading through the house in their high heels. and all of that was yesterday too!

come join me in neverland - where my children will never grow up and do things like graduate, go off to college, or get married! it is a beautiful place!!

Michelle@Gotchababy said...

Oh wow!! Funny how you can remember details from some very important days long ago. Congrats to your baby brother! (as the oldest, with a baby brother 10yrs younger than me, I say with authority you can always call him that!)

Katie said...

HOw sweet! Congratulations to your baby brother :D