The Week in Birthdays

I’ve got a brother, a niece, a former sister-in-law, and twin uncles who all have/had birthdays this week. If you go back nine months to look at a likely conception date, you find … Merry Christmas!

The first in that line of family birthdays is today, my brother John’s. We haven’t lived on the same side of the Mississippi for decades. I wound up out on the West Coast (“moved to” is too straightforward a phrase for the process) in 1977; not long afterward, John went to New York to stay. We’ve both stuck.

I’d like to be closer, both geographically and in the sense of being better in touch, but for the most part I’d say all of us in the family have done what we can to check in with each other amid family-raising, jobs, and everything else we think of as our lives.

Anyway, John–happy birthday. I’ve been told I didn’t extend the warmest greeting when Mom and Dad brought you home–home being a flat in Hyde Park on the South Side–after your arrival. I had had the run of the joint for all of 17, nearly 18 months, and I apparently didn’t cotton to your sometimes tearful newborn carrying on. I reportedly summarized my objections thus: “Bad wah-wah!”

I certainly haven’t become any pithier since then. But for once I”ll try. Happy birthday, John. Hope to see you soon.

One Reply to “The Week in Birthdays”

  1. We went out to that Japanese place on Clark for John’s birthday last night. The waitress immediately remembered us and where we sat. Sean and I joked about that not necessarily being a good thing. After returning to Cadman Plaza West we made merry with cake, tea, a recital by Leah and good conversation. You (as well as Kate and Thom) were missed, not least of all by Jacob who mourns your parting by wearing a hippie bead necklace.

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