May 19, 1957. Tallahassee, FL. My mother gave birth to my parent’s first child. A girl. She was named Jeanne and called Jeannie, after one of my father’s favorite songs, “I Dream of Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair.”
In fact, Jeannie did have light brown hair and was a father’s dream. She was always the responsible one, the one dedicated to hard work and cleanliness, homework and good grades, helping in the parenting of her younger siblings.
As number two of the brood of six, I was not so certain she was a sister’s dream. In those early days, I would have described her as a sister’s nightmare….the measuring stick against which I, the less likely to live up to the expectations, was measured. Somewhere, in the transition from childhood to adulthood, that perception changed.
Today, I along with my father, step mother, and several other family members, will share a birthday dinner gathering at Dad’s in celebration of that dream come true fifty years ago today. For indeed, my father’s first born child has lived up to and exceeded any parent’s dream, and her brothers and sister have truly been the beneficiaries.
Have a great day as I will, celebrating Jeannie’s 50th~