First Born

An Unexpected Arrival

"You cry every time I say goodbye."

"After his ship moved away from Japan, they went on down to the Hawaiian Isles, and they went to Pearl Harbor and picked up a lot of sailors that had enough hours in to get out. They chugged in to San Diego in November right around Thanksgiving day, because he sent me a telegram and said, 'Have come home on my mother’s birthday...'

So I knew that he was in the United States, and when he was allowed to he called me, he said, 'I’ve tried to get emergency leave' — because the baby was due on the 25th of December — and he said, 'I’m trying to get out, but we’re going right back out to Japan, and we’re gonna bring out the load and all,' and he said, 'Maybe then.' I said, 'But that’s after the baby’s born.' And he said, 'I’ve done everything I can...I’ll send you a telegram when the boat leaves, because you cry every time I say goodbye. I just can’t stand it.'

So I got the telegram and I’m sitting on the sofa, and I start to cry and my dad said, 'What’s the matter?' And I said, 'I got a telegram.' And he said, 'Well, you haven’t opened it.' 'I know,' I said, 'But I know what it says, it says he’s gone.' And my dad said, 'Well, just open it.' So I opened it and it said, 'Have thirty-day leave. Will be there on December the 5th.' He had gone to the captain’s wife, and she got him his thirty-day then I really cried! And my dad said, 'Now what’s the matter?' I said, 'Well, he hasn’t seen me like this. When he left, I was still in my regular clothes.' And I said, 'Now look at me, I’m a blimp!'

I said, 'I don’t want him to see me like this.' And my dad says, 'Oh, honey, he’s not gonna see you. He’s just gonna eat you up!' And I went to bed that night, and the next day I woke up, and there was a little spot of blood on my bed. And my mother took me to the hospital, and I had Pat at three o’clock that afternoon. So, Pat was one day old when his father got home, and I had my figure back."