Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Most Epic Day of my Life

Thirty years ago today was one of the most monumental moments of my life. Arguably, it was the most important and miraculous, but seeing as how I do not remember it, I claim other moments are equally as significant, in different ways.

But, Monday, October 17, 1983 was the day it all officially began.  Not only did Gerard Debreu win the Nobel prize for economy, the Green Bay Packers host the Washington Redskins and beat them by a mere point, and the Grateful Dead perform live at Olympic Arena in Lake Placid, New York (which is apparently available as a free-streamed recording), Evil Kneivel, Eminem, Rita Hayworth,  and Ziggy Marley's birthdays were being celebrated, but, on that morning, I was born. My parents, Richard and Anita, met their firstborn (of 5) children for the first time.

This wonderful day of my birth is always very exciting to me, because it's a yearly reminder that two people loved each other so much that they brought me into this world, and that God has blessed and watched over me another year, allowing me to create countless, irreplaceable memories and enjoy this life on earth.

Yes, it's sappy. But I'm sappy, so it makes sense to me.

As I said (and as also makes sense), I don't remember that day. So, as a fun little thirtieth birthday celebration to myself, and a (hopefully fun but likely a bit annoying) way to get my parents to reminisce, I decided to ask them some interview questions, all about myself.

When it came to being first-time parents, my mom and dad were both a little excited and nervous. My dad said he was actually most nervous about telling his parents that he was going to become a father, but the thing that excited him most was that I was a girl (sorry, brothers, dad likes daughters more).

I was actually born a few days early, on my own, unlike either of my sons. My mom remembers exactly what was going on when she started labor. She, my dad, and a couple of friends, had gone to the Berton theater (which was in my hometown but no longer exists, being built in the 1940s and closed in 1990) to see the movie "Stroker Ace." It starred Bert Reynolds and Loni Anderson. I forgot to ask either of my parents if they liked it, but it was rated 14% by online movie critics. 

Something about a race car driver pissed about wearing a chicken suit. I haven't seen it yet. 

If I had been a boy, my mom would have named me Dustin (the name given to my brother born 2.5 years later), though my dad was rooting for the name Steven. But, being who I am, they chose the name Nicole Marie. 

This (the woman) is who I was named after:

You may recognize the couple (if you've ever been into soap operas) as Nikki and Victor Newman from the Young & the a Restless. Yes, I am here to tell you that my dad was apparently a fan of this woman of... Questionable antics and behaviors, and this is how my name was chosen. However, I can also tell you that while I don't watch the show, I have heard some details about this Nikki lady, and I am nothing like she was at the time of my birth- aside, I suppose, from being a female homo sapien with eyes and arms and stuff... and now I'm married. I honestly know not much else about her to compare.

Turns out I was a bit of a spoiled baby, I guess, because I was the first grandchild on my mom's side, so naturally the grandparents were smitten with me, and my aunts and uncle gave me a fair share of attention. My dad said I was a typical daddy's girl.

My first birthday was spent in Dodge City, Kansas, at the Dodge House. 

It's apparently the only full-service Western themed hotel & conference center. By this point I already had long blonde (which is no longer that color) hair, and I could speak quite well (I had a lengthy phone conversation with my grandma, I was once told). We celebrated with a Care Bear birthday cake and the rest of the railroad crew, who my mom said adored and spoiled with me. My dad was not dressed like Wyatt Earp (I asked), even though the hotel is on Wyatt Earp drive/avenue/street/boulevard/something.

Yes, the railroad crew. My dad was part of the railroad crew for about four years before I started school. I am told my mom and I, and later my brother, traveled often with them, to various states (Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Arkansas, and Illinois, to name a few).

I asked about my personality and antics as a wee one, and had a good time reading their responses.   My dad said he thought it was awesome and funny that I knew how to walk before I could crawl. I would apparently fall down and get mad about being stuck. My mom said I would color only the circles in my coloring book pages. Spencer recently went through a circles obsessed phase, too! She loved that I could talk before I was one, and I sang a lot. I loved singing "You are my Sunshine" with my Grandma Leora. I now sing that with my boys! I also had a fondness for Bruce Springsteen as a little little girl, singing "Born in the USA" and "Smokin' in the Boys' Room." Haha.

I asked also what were the most annoying-ish things I did as toddler. Turns out, I allegedly would write letters and draw shapes on things like chairs, and blame it on Dustin, who my mom claims was too young to write such things. Haha. Also, I had him brainwashed into believing that his name was Papa Smurf, and he would only answer if called that. That was supposedly very annoying, though I still find it utterly amusing.

I became a big sister for the first time at about 2.5 years old, to the aforementioned brother, Dustin. I was very excited about it, and adored him and helping with him, both parents tell me. I still love being a big sister to the four crazy kids, Dustin, Bryan, Samantha, and Allison, that are all younger, but nearly all bigger than me. All but one is actually an adult now. 

My favorite movie as a toddler was the "Muppet Movie." I was adamant that ketchup was a food group, much like Spencer feels about peanut butter and/or sprinkles. My mom says that my favorite thing was people, and that Spencer is just like I was at his age.  My dad's opinion, however, is that I'm more like Collin. Guess both boys take after me somehow! 

And, here I am, 30 years later. I've moved about two hours from home, started a family with my best friend and only boyfriend I ever really had that I actually loved. Someone asked me already if I feel 30. I guess I do? I feel like... I did the other day, only on Thursday, and if that's how 30 feels, then yes. I've been asked if 30 makes me sad or nervous or anxious or whatever, and it doesn't. My friend, Jenn, says I'm finally in the 29 Forger club, where quite a few of my close women friends already are as well. 30 makes sense. And it sounds... Respectable somehow.

Happy 30th Birthday to me! How am I going to celebrate? By not being sick like yesterday, having coffee and pastries with one of my BFFs, hiding in my bedroom with my sister while the boys watch Elmo downstairs, and drinking two cream sodas! Living large, you know?