Just as I was leaving to Trick or Treat on Halloween when I was 3 years old, we got the call. I had a baby brother and his name would be Steven. My grandmother, whom we called ‘Mom’ (which would prove to be confusing to say the least to have both a mother and a grandmother called Mom, but that is a story for later on…) had gotten me outfitted in my black cat/ballerina costume. The tradition to dress as a mash up of two things was born the same day as Steve. Daddy’d had called earlier to say that the baby was coming, but I didn’t know exactly what that meant. All I knew was that ‘the baby’ was taking its sweet time about it. If it didn’t time its arrival properly, my whole Halloween might be ruined. The skies had turned grey in the east and were an explosion of purples and red as the phone that hung on the wood paneled wall next to the bar between our kitchen and den, rang. The ring was the music of the settings we have now on our smartphones known as Old Phone. But it should just be known as Phone, since that’s what all phones sounded like. Old phones, actually sounded different. But whatever. My grandmother was wearing capri pants and a red sweater. I remember everything about the moment. My friend Tammy’s father, who was to be my candy gathering escort that evening had just arrived to get me. He stood on the back patio just outside our sliding glass door waiting, while I physically straddled the doorway caught between the two moments. I had one foot on the bricks ready to go, and one foot on the grey speckled formica watching my grandmother as she cooed and laughed into the phone receiver. She was reclining, one butt cheek on the barstool as she looked into my eyes but spoke into the phone, “Well that is just mighty good news.” After she’d said goodbye to my Daddy we jumped up and down to celebrate. I went out into the world filled with the feeling of possibility. Somewhere inside I knew I was forever altered and welcomed the change. In fact, I was so excited that I told people at each house I went to that night. “I just got a baby brother for Halloween!” And at door after door I was given extra treats for sharing the good news. I didn’t yet know it, but that was to be the last Halloween where I was center of attention. From there forward, it was Steve’s day.
The picture above is from his 2nd birthday. It was taken just before he tried to eat the wax candles.
Happy Birthday Pretender Steve. Love you so much!!