Wednesday, October 11, 2006

So...What's in a Name?

An inquisitive child, I wanted to know everything about my abandonment. I harassed my parents, needled them, and finally got a “story.” According to the “story,” a nurse had been leaving her hospital shift in the wee hours of the morning and thought she heard the soft mews of a kitten. A cat-lover, she had to stop and check the bushes from whence the cries came. Voila – she found me, covered in ant bites, but none the worse for the wear. This “story” became part of my life-treasure, and I carried it always – along with a special place in my heart for that nurse. I even spoke about it in a college speech class. The “story” was neat and tidy – I was found in a safe location (hospital grounds) and meant for discovery.

After learning the truth, I tentatively asked my mother if she remembered any details about my abandonment. Nope. Nothing. She never mentioned the “story.” I guess it had also been abandoned, since it hadn’t been needed in many years. I brought up “remembering a story about a hospital bush…or something,” and I was emphatically told that I must have “made that up.” I was never TOLD that, you see.

I knew differently, but it is better to be kind than right.

I still haven’t shared the truth with her, b/c when I asked if it were possible to find out – would she want to know – the answer was an emphatic, “NO.” Plus, I was again lectured about the foolishness of such an exploration. ‘Nuff said.
But what’s funny is my nickname. Years ago, after hearing my “story,” my husband thought it would be cute to call me “Lawn Baby” – in reference to being found on a hospital lawn. It sounded better than “Bush Baby” – and, well, you get the picture. So non-id posed a REAL PROBLEM. What was he going to call me now?

Okay – let’s get back to the phone conversation with the social-worker-I’m-trying-to-convince-I’m-not-insane. So, I tell his lady that I’m living a great life – I’m very successful, a mother, etc….but my husband and I have a problem. Then I tell her the “Lawn Baby” thing – just to convince her that I’M NOT CRAZY and I’m WELL-ADJUSTED. I just want to know what he should call me now. Dumpster Baby? Curbside Baby? Trash-Can Baby? Alley Baby? Could she at LEAST tell me WHERE I was found??? There was a long pause, as I think she had never encountered THIS type of problem on the job. She asked me to sit down. That’s when she said (with a measure of complete dread in her voice), “You were found in the restroom of a filling station. The truck merely pulled away, and the police case was closed.”

I guess “filling station” sounds better than “gas station.” When I told my husband, he was appalled. “She didn’t tell you what BRAND??? Well, NOW what am I gonna call you?? Shell Baby? Exxon Baby? Mobil Baby?”

We haven’t done all the research as to what gas stations would have been around at the time in California. But we like to think it was one of those with the cute green dinosaurs.

You can call me “Sinclair Baby.” He does.


Karmyn R said...

Well, I'm relieved now to know they didn't leave you on an ant-hill.

All I could think about the entire story was those ant bites. You poor baby!

And hey - I think Dino-baby works pretty good.

Anonymous said...

filling station is what we always referred to them as when I was growing up. (well, I never grew up, but that is beside the point.)

I'm still back thinking about the woman you saw on the show that was found murdered.....

Anonymous said...

If I was making up a nickname, I'd take all things into consideration: you were found in a gas station, you have a loving family, are a successful businesswoman and even teach classes. I'd have to go with Full Service Momma.

Keep the story going as long as it takes to tell it all. I thank you for not making one humungus post, I prefer small bites.

Anonymous said...

It takes me time to digest your posts, and I'm just reading it not living it. I pray everyday on the way to town. Tomorrow I will make an effort to remember you.

If it helps any, I make jokes like you did with the social worker and people never get them. There is usually silence after which of course makes me talk even more and by the time I"m done I have forgotten what we were talking about in the first place. Kind of like now.

Jenny said...

Oh Sinclair Baby, is it wrong of me to love your posts so much? I'm so fascinated with your story. Of how far you've come. With your amazing and hilarious perspective on life.

You really inspire me.

C said...

You know what is funny about the word sinclair - it sounds much like the spanish words "sin querer" which means without wanting to or by accident.

SongBird said...

I like Texaco Tiff. Just has a nice rhythm to it. And as I keep reading the phrase "dressed appropriately", I visualize you as an infant in tiny mechanic's coveralls like my dad used to wear when he owned a filling station.

Whoever your biological parents were and for whatever reasons they abandoned you, I must say that they really screwed up. Maybe they felt incapable of providing for you, maybe they had some other reason. Regardless, they certainly missed out on the joy of loving a wonderful person.

Swampwitch said...

Hey there! Have been out of the loop for almost a week and can't wait to finally return home this weekend to catch up on your earlier posts. So glad to know you are sharing your story with us.

Tiggerlane said...

karmyn - Dino-baby sounds cool! I'll tell the hubby!

WT - I KNOW hubby would like your name - but he'd want it kept private.

And thank you, vicki; I appreciate your thoughts.

And Songbird - I agree with the "dressed appropriately" - makes me giggle!! Never thought about the baby overalls!! And thanks for the compliment. And knowing how I turned out, I know they MUST have some good qualities - I was born with some of this out of biology - I just HAD to be!

Swampwitch - I'll be posting more frequently, but you haven't missed much. The best is yet to come. Good to see you!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is amazing!

I always fall deeper into the (trying to explain I'm really not crazy) hole myself when I least need to sound crazy.

It's a sickness.