The Story of My Birth
By Page Leggett
I wasn’t expected until Memorial Day 1968. But my mother went into labor in late March – two months early.
It was the last thing my young parents expected when they had gone to see “The Graduate” that Saturday night. The opening credits were barely over when my mom whispered to my dad she was in labor. He asked if they had time to get their money back.
The story has become part of family lore. It’s told every year on my birthday, and it gets told when the subject of my father’s frugality comes up, which is often.
I weighed less than 4 pounds. My mother has always told me how terrified she was I was going to die. My father is stoic, but Mom makes it clear how scared he was too. “It’s the only time I’ve ever seen your father cry,” she’ll say.
Every birthday of mine seems like a miracle to her. And I guess to me, too, since I know, by heart, the story of how I cheated death as soon as I arrived. I was a fighter. The story makes me feel heroic, like a survivor.
But wait. This isn’t really my story.
Page Leggett - I'm a freelance writer and editor. My work for outlets such as The Charlotte Observer, Business North Carolina and VIE magazine often focuses on the arts, travel and home (I am a homebody given to wanderlust, after all). My personal essays have appeared in Remembered Arts Journal, SouthPark magazine and The New York Times' Modern Love "Tiny Love Stories."