Most of us today think very little about the place we were born, except the city and state, of course. That is because most of us are born in hospitals, these days, and while we may know about those, they carry little value, except the name itself. It isn’t a place we go to see out of curiosity, or a place that we generally have a picture of, because it just isn’t that big a part of our life history. I found this picture recently, and for me, it will now always carry a great value and significance in my life history. No, it isn’t the place where I was born. My own birth took place at Saint Joseph’s Hospital, in Superior, Wisconsin. That is all I know of the place, and it has never been something that carried any great importance to me to see. No, this is the house where my dad was born…a home birth.
Home births didn’t used to be such a novelty, in fact the very opposite was true. Women saw no need to rush off to the hospital to give birth to their children during the time when my dad was born. And yet, it is that relative novelty that exists today concerning home births, that made me look twice at the information my Uncle Bill had attached to this picture. While my dad was not the only one of my grandparents children to be born at home, he was the only one to be born in this house.
After I read that this house was where my dad was born, I just felt an immediate connection to it. I could picture my dad…the baby, crying for the first time and then being handed to his mother so he could eat his first meal. I could picture him learning to sit, stand, and walk in this house. I could picture his siblings, Laura and William taking turns holding the new baby, and Laura helping her mother to care for her new baby brother. Aunt Laura had been such a great held with my Uncle Bill’s care when he was little, and how much she liked that job, as told by Uncle Bill, so I can imagine that she cared for my dad in much the same way.
I don’t know how long they lived in this house for sure, but I do know that it carried many precious memories of happy times. It is a house that my Uncle Bill spoke of often, and there are a number of pictures taken at this house too. Stories of their times playing with the Zenith Coaster wagon that is pictured in front of the house, also graced the pages of the family history, as very important pictures for Uncle Bill, He and my dad had many great times in that old wagon, and as an added blessing, their sister, Laura was there to pull them around in it, so they didn’t have to do a thing but sit back and enjoy the ride. I think I can see exactly why the house meant so much to the family.
When my mom was a little girl, her favorite and most comfortable way to sit was in a full straddle split. Being a gymnast in my own youth, I know that the straddle split was the ultimate move, and there weren’t very many gymnasts that could do it. For that reason, those who could do it were always envied. Well, my mom was one of those people. In fact, she was so comfortable doing the straddle splits, and not really comfortable sitting in other ways, so that is how she usually sat on the floor. Now if that would have been me, well…OUCH!!! Whenever Mom told me about the way she was able to sit, I remember feeling just a little bit sorry that I had not taken after her in that area. Of course, she cqn’t do the straddle splits anymore, but there was a time when she would have been the envy of a lot of girls in the sport of gymnastics.
I have recently come across a picture of my niece, Jenny that tells me that, at least in that one way, Jenny took after my mom, although she doesn’t resemble her in any other way that I know of. Jenny has always loved all things that had to do with gymnastics and dance, and as you can see, she was very good at the coveted straddle splits. I don’t know if she still does the splits, or even if she can, but Jenny is a great dancer. She does Zumba and Belly Dancing, as well as any other form, I’m sure. And being a very girly girl, she loves the costumes that go along with dance, especially the belly dancing. I’m also sure that her little daughter, who is due to arrive in August will also be an amazing dancer and gymnast. After all, her Mommy is one of the very best, and I’m sure that dance will be something the two of them will enjoy sharing.
Jenny’s niece, Audrianna, Anna for short, also seems to have taken after my mom and her Aunt Jenny. From the time she was a little teeny girl, she could also do the straddle splits. Now, Anna was probably the most unusual of the three in that she was able to take them one step further. The first time I saw Anna do her little trick, she had barely learned to sit up. We were on the mountain for a family picnic, and her mom sat her down on a blanket in the shade of a tree. She sat there for a little while, and then she moved her legs out into a straddle split sit. As I watched her, I was amazed that she could do the straddle splits…but, I was even more amazed at what she did next! That little tiny girl brought her legs all the way into the straddle split and then on around so that she was laying on her stomach and ready to crawl away!! I was shocked. I have never seen anyone who was able to do that!! But our little Anna could.Now that is something for the gymnasts to really be envious of!!