Thursday, July 5, 2012

1972: 40 Thoughts in 40 Days

Thank you mom - obviously for giving birth to me, but more importantly for being just the single most incredible woman that I know.   Early on, you set a great example of a loving mom, always there when we needed you, and even when we thought we didn't.  You have always been a constant my life.  When single parenting was thrown at you, just as two new teenagers were exasperating you, you kept it together, making sacrifices for your children that we never knew about until much later - and some that I'm sure we may never know about.

You were the "cool parent" when we were in high school.  Whether that was because you worked at the school and my friends got to know you, or just because you were firm with your rules but still opened your home to our teenage friends - maybe a little bit of both.  How many New Year's Eve parties did you host?  How many birthday parties?  All turned out to be the cool place to be - no alcohol or stupidity involved.  You made sure of that, and jamming 25 teenagers on a living room floor for an all night New Year's fest would certainly test anyone's patience.  Yet you did it without complaint, actually welcoming the opportunity.

While most kids may have been mortified to have their parent accompany them on a group field trip to Washington, D.C. - you made the responsible choice to chaperone, but were thoughtful enough to give us our distance and not hover over our classes.  I'm still curious as to how you were the only one to get the photos of the FRONT of the White House, when our group tour only led us to the back of the building.  Hmmm....very suspicious indeed.

I think about all that you have gone through and I wonder sometimes if I could have made it any easier for you.  Could I have argued less?  Caused you less worry than I did?  Granted, I was the good kid, and therefore your obvious favorite, but still - I take ownership in my role for the number of gray hairs you have since turned brown.  No...blonde.  Wait....red.   Okay...blonde.  Final Answer...maybe.

Smile mom - this isn't a weepy moment.  Your baby girl is turning 40 in 40 days!!

Yeah, I know - I'm the most adorable baby you've ever seen, right?

August 14, 1972 changed the lives of three people in northwest Ohio when I made my entrance into this world.  Mom, Dad, and a little 14-month old boy who had no idea what he was in store for when the role of "big brother" was thrust upon him.

The story goes that my parents had the name of "Heidi" picked out should the expected child be a girl.  Apologies to all those named Heidi, but come on...Heidi?  Really?  Heidi Hulbert.  That's just almost cruel.  Thankfully, the day I was born my mother picked up the daily newspaper and noticed a bridal announcement with a young woman whom my mother says was "a beautiful bride" and her name was Candace.  Whew...dodged that one!

So what was happening during this monumental year?  Richard Nixon was president, and Watergate was still fresh in the news.  The cost of a 1st class postage stamp was a whopping 8 cents, and the comedy MASH would premier during the year.

The summer of 1972 also had some .... interesting ....music playing on the radio.  My parents listened to country music.  And not of the Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, or Tim McGraw variety.  This was old-school country music.  I grew up with the man in black, Johnny Cash.  I know the words to more songs by Tammy Wynette, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, and Loretta Lynn than what I will ever admit to in public.

Please reminisce with me a bit and listen to this song that was a chart-topper during the summer that I was born.  (And yes, I knew this one too.)

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