This blog has always been a little unfair to my cousin Brandon, through no fault of his own.
Brandon is the son and elder child of my Aunt Elaine, my dad’s sister.
(Aunt Elaine has made a number of appearances on Hope Street, including as a teenage Beatlemaniac and as a college student in turbulent Boston. Longtime readers, all three of you, might remember Brandon’s cameo appearance in this long-ago post.)
Brandon was born in the bicentennial year of 1976, which is not a problem in and of itself.
But remember: The calendars on which this blog is based span from January 1961 to December 1975. My grandpa had calendars before and after that period; but for whatever reason, the ones from that period are the ones that got saved.
Or, at least, he did until this week. Upon re-examining the calendars, I found his first appearance in show business, so to speak.
So, in honor of his upcoming birthday, here’s giving Brandon a moment in the spotlight — even in an oblique way:
Telling your folks that a grandchild is coming is always a memorable experience — one of the great, if momentary, pleasures of parenthood.
From time to time I play in a band with my dad. And the band just happened to be planning a rehearsal, months in advance, that fell a few days before my first son’s due date. So I broke the news to my parents by dutifully explaining why I couldn’t make the band practice. They were overjoyed … and I missed the rehearsal.
For our second kid, we got even trickier. As it happened, right around the three-month mark, different people on both sides of the family had been sending around old family pictures through email. So my wife sent out a freshly taken ultrasound with the unassuming note: “Here’s another family pic you all might enjoy.” They did.
(I still remember the delicious interval between when my wife sent the email and when my folks called, literally whooping with joy. It was only a few minutes, as I recall, but it was a great few minutes.)
I don’t know what method my aunt chose to deliver her big news on Dec. 1, 1975 — whether she found some creative way to break the news, or just blurted it out.
Either way, I’m sure my grandparents and great-grandma were thrilled, and stayed that way through the holiday season and beyond. The addition of a new member to the family never gets old.
Happy birthday, Brandon.
And remember that, as much as you look forward to your birthday, there were people looking forward to it months in advance, even before Christmas … starting with the day they got a very special phone call.