I turned 49 a couple of weeks ago and my Mom got me a card . In it she reminded me that I was the baby of the family. That made me think of all the firsts a baby has, but everyone stops counting firsts after a while. I recently had another first in my life and that made me think of other firsts that people don’t keep track of. So here are some of my firsts.
… Birthday cake. I was four, my mom made me a cake shaped like a bunny and one shaped like a giraffe. It wasn’t my first cake, but it is my earliest memory.
…Pinched finger. I remember about the same time I got my finger slammed in a car door. My Dad took me to the doctor and the doctor burned a whole in the nail with a hot paper clip. It must have been sterile because I saw him heat it up with my Dad’s lighter. I’m sure that did the trick. Gotta love military doctors.
…Round of shots for Italy. I was about five when my Dad got stationed in Italy. I remember having to get caught up on my shots in a hurry. I was the youngest so I needed the most. I felt like a pin cushion.
…Friend. I don’t know if he was actually a friend, but I remember an Italian kid name Stefano coming to our apartment in Italy. I’m sure there were other friends but he is the one I remember for some reason.
…Time being hit with a pitch. Baseball was a family thing. My brothers all played and my Dad coached. I was playing Pee-Wee at five. Ironically the first time I can remember being hit with a pitch I wasn’t batting. My brother Gary was warming up for a game and I don’t know if I wandered into the path of the ball or if my brother threw a wild pitch but I got hit in the thigh. It was probably a wild pitch because I wouldn’t walk into the warm area. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
Bee sting. I was walking through the rec fields where we played ball and got stung on the thigh. It was probably no big thing but I was around five and I cried like a baby. I still have a fear of bees. I wrote about it before ( https://bryanyounger.wordpress.com/2008/06/12/buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz/ )
… Time being thrown out at first. I have always been able to hit the ball well. In my parents slide reels one of the first pictures is one of me hitting a ball, I was around four. My first official game I hit the ball and ran with all my might and was put out at first. I cried the coach comforted me. My next time at bat same thing. I cried some more, more comforting. What I didn’t realize was that in those two outs I made I had driven in four runs. All I could see was that I was out. You know why I was out? Because even though I could catch ( I played catcher), throw and hit, I couldn’t run . I have NEVER been a runner. Still can’t. I hurt my knee as a teenager ( I’ll get to that later)and now they could time me with a calendar.
…Time being hit with a bat on top of the head. I played catcher in Pee wee baseball and a batter threw the bat. It landed square on top of my head. The kids these days have it too easy. They have helmets behind the catcher’s mask. I didn’t. I think that hit may have broken something in my brain that is yet to be healed. It would explain a lot!
…Grade teacher. Joy Smith. I don’t know why I remember her name but I do. I also remember thinking that 2+2=22.
…Plane ride. I know, I’ve been talking about living in Italy. I’m pretty sure that we drove the Country Squire wagon there. I don’t remember flying there. but I do remember flying back to the USA. I slept in the rear of the plane on some open seats laid out as a bed. I also got some pilots wings so if you ever want to let me pilot a plane for you, I’m qualified.
…Night in a hotel in New York. When we got back to the states we landed in New York and spent the night in a hotel. I remember waking up to a noise that I had never heard before… traffic. I also remember seeing the statue of liberty from a distance.
… Fall up the steps. Thats right, I said up. I was running up the incomplete stairs from the basement that was being constructed. There was no roof over the stairs and it was raining. I slipped and landed on my nose. Which brings me to…
…X-ray. I had broken my nose on the steps. It was the first X-ray in a file that eventually resembled ” War and Peace”.
… Motorcycle. I loved to ride my minibike I would crack the throttle all the way open and go as fast as I could, not surprisingly the motor seized. My parents replaced it with a 80cc Yamaha dirt bike. It was a lot faster and I could ride wheelies on it. A dangerous combination.
…Stay in the hospital. I actually hurt myself on my sisters 125cc Yamaha. Ironically it was probably one of the most minor crashes I ever had. I was turning around and bumped the front tire on a log. That pinned my knee between the gas tank and the handle bars, then I fell on that side. My brother had to pick me up and put me back on the bike and I rode it back to camp. We went to the hospital the next day, my knee was as big around as my thigh, it was broken. I spent a week in the hospital.
…Sparks of sarcasm. While I was in the emergency room the doctor made some passive aggressive comment to me like” I thought parents didn’t let their kids ride motorcycles anymore.” I replied,” That’s what you get for thinking.” He made some other comment I can’t remember, but I remember my response,” There you go thinking again.” My brother later bought me a book published by MAD magazine called ” Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions” , the world has never been the same since.
… Time being tortured by a sadistic doctor. My knee was broken and the doctor knew this and yet he checked my ligaments in the knee by tying them together and spreading my legs out to the sides, you know, the direction your knees aren’t supposed to bend. It was simply the most pain I have ever been in. A shot of Novacain would have been nice. The nurse even told my mother that ” That was rough.” I still think he was getting even for me being a smartass.
…gray hair he gave to his mother. After I got my cast off I was out riding wheelies in the back yard on the 80 Yamaha. I couldn’t walk, but I could ride. She looked like a ghost when she saw me.
Well this is getting quite long so I think I will cut this short. The traumatic event that caused me to write this blog was this .
Baby’s first….( Drum roll please)
BIFOCALS!!!! Bi friggin focals! When did I get old? How is it possible that I need them? I am after all the baby of the family. I guess now that I’m a grandfather I needed the grandpa glasses to go with it. I just couldn’t read anymore. Through my glasses my arms were too short. Without my glasses I would practically have to put my nose on the page to see it. So I guess it was time.