I was born a surprise. I call myself a Love Child. I was conceived by unadulterated love rather than precise intention.
My parents always wanted a big family. Seven children later they thought they had accomplished such a feat. For six years my older sister, Leisel, happily filled the role of baby of the family—coddled and esteemed, she was content to be the last.
My mother was 43 years old when the news came. Her whole life, she had never been wrong (about anything) and this case was no different. For you see, as a little girl eight was always her number. The very sound of seven was the one reality that never quite sat well with her. So while the baby was “unexpected” or “unintended” it certainly was not “unplanned”. For her, the planning had happened long before, in the past, back in a time when she lived life in “pretend”. She had only forgotten about this plan for a little while, that’s all. So when she found out she was pregnant, she only looked up, nodded her head and said, that’s right. For others I was a surprise, for her I was an elapsed dream realized.
I was born to women who could be my grandmother and I shared a birthday with a brother who was old enough to be my father. A strange life—yes, but one I can’t imagine wanting any different. I do not have memories of my siblings’ t-ball games or dance recitals, but I have a charming relationship with each of them untainted by youthful quarrels. My father may not have been able to pick me up and throw me on his back as we ran around the yard, but he had come to a maturity that was temperate and wise. My mother did not take me out to get chocolate ice cream with her because she was having a menstrual craving, but she had the good old fashion skills to teach me how to bake and sew. My parents may not be around to see me have my last child, but I got to live a life unique to that of my friends, unique to even that of my siblings. I got to be my parents very own Love Child.