I really started writing this to you before you were born, before I knew the person that you would become. It was the summer of 1967 before my two-year trip to Junior High. To say to you that I was anxious about all of that would definitely be an understatement. The week before school started mom and dad kept me at the table after desert to tell me about you, I had just found out that I wouldn’t be in Diane’s homeroom. I was all worried that change was in the wind. That night when mom looked down at my finished bowl of apple pie a-la-mode and then up at my steely, grey eyes I knew suddenly that my life was going to change forever.
She gulped as she said it, “Ellie, I know that you have always wanted a baby brother or sister, uh, hmmm, I’m just going to say it. She glanced at Dad. We are all going to have a baby in about five months.” As she looked at Dad, I guess for reassurance, he grabbed her hand.
Dad started in trying to help, “You know, we had been trying for a long time…”
I broke in gasping, “You’re pregnant Mom? This has got to be really a giant joke. You can’t really be serious.”
Standing up I looked across the table at her strained smile and I knew that it was the truth. All I said was this, “You are both too old to be parents and so am I.” I have so much regret over saying those words; I’ve repeated them a million times in my head. I’m sorry.”
I walked out the door into the August night, climbed the old apple tree to think. I wondered if Diane would still be my friend when she found out. I wondered if you would cry as much as the baby did next door. I wondered if you would look like me. I wondered if you would love me even though I wasn’t at all sure that I wanted you.
School was starting after Labor Day and I knew I was going to be keeping the biggest secret of my life for as long as I could.