Before I Go…

baby jen

Found another picture! This one of Jennifer and Fritz, playing together with his yarn toy

Before I leave the downstairs apartment on Court Street, there are a couple other random thoughts that come to mind.

My husband’s cousin, Steve, lived just two blocks away with his wife Ami and their daughter Chrissy.  When Chrissy was born, Steve came knocking on our door in the middle of the night to get Terry. “Ya gotta come see her,” he said, excitedly, “she looks just like a night crawler!” Well, she was a long, skinny baby, but beautiful. As an infant, she’d get one leg kicking, as she lay on her back making baby noises. It reminded her parents of Thumper,  the rabbit in the Disney movie, Bambi, so that’s what they called her. The nickname stuck, at least until she started school. Steve and Terry(my husband) formed a band. They got together most weekends to play guitars and drink. Ami and I had both come from large families, and we’d both grown up on Lake Nepessing. Sometimes we visited while the guys practiced.

When I came home from the hospital with my new baby, my husband’s Uncle Ronny and his girlfriend, Caroline, followed us right into the driveway. They were excited to meet the newest addition to the family. I was appalled! I didn’t want company! I was tired and sore and a little frightened of parenthood. I did not feel like being social. I didn’t want people picking up my baby! The apartment was so open, there was no escape. I couldn’t close myself and my baby in the bedroom, as there was only a sheer curtain to divide it from the living room. I rudely sulked the entire time they were there. I didn’t offer to make coffee; I barely spoke. When Caroline asked if she could hold Jennifer, I blurted, “I’ve hardly had a chance to hold her myself!” They didn’t stay long.

My husband went back to work the day after that. His grandmother Ida Mae, who we called “Grandma B”, came four days in a row to help me while Terry was at work. Sometimes, when Jennifer was sleeping, I’d take a nap. I rested easier knowing that Grandma B was there. She was moral support more than anything, but it was a pleasure to have her around. She told me about moving households with a horse and open cart – in the pouring rain – with four little children, and how their mattresses were all drenched by the time they reached their destination. She told me about when her son, Bob, was born. The doctor came by later and hefted him, estimated his weight – from experience  – and told her what a big, healthy baby she had. It’s odd to think that Ida Mae was probably, then, about the age that I am now…she seemed so ancient!

That’s about all I remember from this old address. We were on Court Street – in two different apartments – for about eighteen months. I didn’t realize how much I liked living in town, until I moved away. Having grown up out in the country, I thought that was ideal, especially when raising a family. When the opportunity came up, we moved.


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