I Am Born
Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. (David Copperfield)
My mother recorded my birth details in my photograph album:
Christopher David Thorpe
Born February 9 1950
at Wellesley Hospital, Toronto
Weight 6 lbs. 11 ¾ oz.
Born on a Thursday at 3:40 am
or 3:49 (I forget which)
She must have known I was going to grow up to be an Astrologer…
I was an Overweight Infant
I have not located my first baby portrait. You know the kind: you’re plunked on top of the sideboard and someone distracts you while the photographer does his bit.
It shows me to be a bit chunky. I blame the Carnation Evaporated Milk that my Mom used in my baby formula for my extra fat. But it should come as no surprise that I still like the taste of it.
Because of the weight, I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) walk unassisted until I was almost two years of age. The picture shown above was dated June 1951. I was sixteen months old. Another photo taken the same day shows me hanging on to a trash basket as I tried walking around it.
The ‘Flu Shot
I have a very early memory of my Mom getting a ‘flu shot in the cheek of her buttocks. Since doctors still made house calls in those days, this was administered in her bedroom.
Mom said that there is no way I should have remembered that event. She said it took place in the early winter of 1951. I would not have yet been two years old.
But it is a very vivid memory for me, mainly because I got a ‘flu shot, too, that night.
While researching any residual outbreaks of the Spanish Influenza during that year, I came across this Toronto Star story of a polio outbreak. Might we have been given a polio vaccination instead?
Speaking in Tones
No, that’s not a typo. From my earliest days until my late toddler years, I spoke a tonal singsong version of words.
Mom, being intuitive, and my mother, was able to translate what I was saying, thereby meeting my needs and fulfilling my requests.
Years later, when I had an autograph book (I wonder where that went?) Mom wrote out this little rhyme:
A B C D goldfish?
L M N O goldfish.
O S A R!
I wonder now if she was also referencing my tonal language as an infant.
Mom and I have always been close. I guess that comes from being the first born.
But since her death in 2003 at the age of 80, she has continued to watch over me.
Maybe she’s hoping to keep me safe, until it’s time for me to leave, too.
I love you, Mom.