The Bearded Lady and the Stork’s Visit

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I remember the day my brother was born. I’d just turned three. I woke up to find Mother gone, something I’d never experienced. Grandma had come to stay a few days to help out, but had broken a rib in a fender-bender the day before, so she wasn’t up to much, but that’s a whole other story. A neighbor stayed till with us till mid-morning, when a bearded Amazon identifying herself as Aunt Cynthia showed up to take care of us all. I’d never seen such a thing in my life. She must have been overdue time off from the circus to be free on such short notice.

The whole crazy scenario was too much for my tiny mind, especially, the strange bearded behemoth. I wasn’t buying any of it, so headed for the hills, in this case, the shrubs in our front yard. Eventually, tiring of calling me, “Aunt Cynthia” hoisted Grandma out of bed long enough to gain my trust, luring me in with the promise of scrambled eggs and strawberry jam. I was mortified to have wet my pants while in hiding. It took me forever to make Aunt Cynthia understand I needed “panties” not “pennies.”

Despite the psychic trauma, it ended well enough. Mother got home in a day or two with my new brother. Grandma was back on her feet. Aunt Cynthia went home, but for some reason I never really bonded with her, maybe because she kept offering me pennies instead of dry underwear. That’s kind of weird.