It’s Ann’s birthday. That’s significant because she’s my sister, and the only one of my four siblings whose day of birth I clearly remember. The one recollection I’ve shared in the family to the point of bored weeping is seeing the family car, a red-and-white 1958 Ford station wagon, going around the corner of Monee Road and Indianwood in Park Forest as my brothers and I walked home from school at St. Mary’s.
We’d been home for lunch, and I remember what might have been a routine for my mom and dad, who were waiting for their fifth kid. Dad did accounting-type work at Spiegel’s, and I think he’s always had the habit of recording numbers that might be significant. At lunch, Mom was having contractions; when she had one, she’d tell Dad, who would look at his watch and write down the time on the back of an envelope. He’d been writing the times down since after we left for St. Mary’s earlier in the day, seeing how close the contractions were getting. I remember seeing the times and thinking something exciting was happened, though I wasn’t entirely sure what it involved beyond the expectation we’d have a new brother or sister at the end of it.
Dad drove Mom to Ingalls Hospital in Harvey. Chris, John, and I were having dinner with our neighbors, the Lehmanns, when Dad called about 5:30 to say we had a sister. Boy, did she have a treat in store. Somehow, she survived.