April 27, 2009

Happiness = Vincent

Posted in family, happiness

Today… at 2:45 this morning…
the youngest of my two sons
turned 30.

He was born in the old house you see below, in a place I like to call (out of revenge) “Poche d’Air,” Comté de Lotbinière. Of course, you won’t get the humour if you don’t understand French; you’ll have to wait for something else to laugh at.

This picture was taken the year before Vincent’s birth. In June 1978, my then-husband and I left the city and moved to the country — back to our roots — to live the peace & love life in a red & white house that had both a wood stove AND a Franklin fireplace, but no bath and no hot water. See, that’s my then-husband taking down the “For Sale” sign, and my then-only-son Sébastien posing for posterity.

Sitting on the front porch of Our House Is A Very Very Fine House, we had a great view of the fields and — at the end of the fields, a mile away — beautiful Downtown Poche d’Air where the church stood high and empty, except on Sundays and special occasions.

When the sun was out, it made for bucolic settings.

When it rained, it made for pitiful puddles of mud.

And so it is that Vincent was born on a cold and rainy Friday, in the little room at the top of the stairs.

It all took place on this very bed; we had stripped it down to the mattress and covered it with a plastic sheet for when the waters broke. And boy, did they brake: Huguette, the midwife, got splashed all over and had to endure her wet look throughout the remainder of the event.

With all the action going on — no screaming, just a lot of pushing and laughing — Sébastien woke up but was too stunned to step out of his room. He waited silently till Vincent was shot out of the cannon, and then approached the scene of the miracle where he stood — astounded — watching his brand new baby brother stretched out on his barenaked mom’s belly.

My mother had also decided to skip the delivery part. She kept herself busy downstairs, in the kitchen, whistling madly in an effort to stay calm: birthing at home, a mile from the middle of nowhere, wasn’t her idea of life in the 20th Century. But once it was over and nobody had died, she put The Four Seasons by Vivaldi on the record player (as per my instructions) and proceeded to bring us plates stacked with thick slices of toasted bread garnished with her famous homemade cretons.

Huguette went out to her car to fetch the bottle of sparkling wine she had brought for the occasion; with the lights down low and everyone gathered in the master bedroom around the antique iron bed, we lifted our glasses, in quiet bliss, to the arrival of a new player in this game called life.

So the picture you see up there was taken two days after Vincent’s birth; the bed was back to its normal state, my mom was back at her house in the next town, and I had lost 17 of the 19 pounds gained during pregnancy.

I would soon lose the other 2 pounds going up and down the stairs to breastfeed my hungry little ogre.

Here we are the following year, on MY 30th birthday. That’s my mom with half her head chopped off, holding onto Vincent; as you can see, breastfeeding payed off big time!

Finally, here’s what 30 years did to my kid…
6’2″ and getting more handsome every day.

Je t’aime


In February 1981, we escaped back to the city.
By then, I was a single mom, eager to move on.
Because though having Vincent had been heaven…
the rest of my rural episode had been hell!

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  1. Liz says:

    Happy Birthday to Vincent and thank you for sharing that story and pictures.

    April 27, 2009 at 11:50 pm

  2. MuddLavoie says:

    Hi Liz!

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment — greatly appreciated.

    And I will transmit your birthday wish to Vincent — he’s on Facebook too, you know. 🙂


    April 28, 2009 at 4:17 am

  3. MuddLavoie says:

    Hey Ted!

    Why thank you, sir — glad you enjoyed it.

    As for my reason for not enjoying the country life, it had more to do with my mental state than the state of the environment. LOL

    Love ya!

    April 28, 2009 at 4:25 am

  4. teddlesruss says:

    wow! Excellent little tale, lovely. Sorry for whatever made the rural setting so unsettling, trust that life is far nicer nowadays…

    Happy birthday Vincent!

    April 28, 2009 at 4:03 am

  5. Daniele Rossi says:

    L’histoire-c’est cool 🙂 I hope that was correct. What a great story and the photos really take you in!

    Bonne fête to your son.

    April 28, 2009 at 6:56 am

  6. Stephanie says:

    This is lovely. It amazes me because my tiny, tiny boy is going to be 4 in July and I cant believe that he isn`t my tiny, tiny boy anymore! The time goes so fast. I remember my uncle saying to me once when I was ridiculously pregnant and as big as a house “Stephanie, there are going to be times when he`s screaming and you`re exhausted and so frustrated you`ll be seeing spots, and you just have to tell yourself that it`s going to be gone so fast, you wont be able to BELIEVE that he`s 25 years old all of a sudden, and just tell youself that and the exhaustion wont seem so unbearable”. To think of him turning 30 is… unfathomable! Happy birthday to your son 🙂

    April 28, 2009 at 9:01 am

  7. MuddLavoie says:

    Ciao Ciao Daniele!

    I hope I got the greeting right… or can I only use “ciao” at the END of my message?

    As for your French, il est parfait — très bon travail, élève Rossi 😉

    And last but not least, your comment about the photos really taking you in makes me so happy. Because I want so much to connect with people and you’ve just shown me that it’s happening.

    My son will be so surprised to receive all these birthday wishes — thanks for yours!

    Grosse caresse

    April 28, 2009 at 12:41 pm

  8. MuddLavoie says:

    Hey Stephanie!

    Something I’ve noticed about having grandsons — something I hadn’t experienced when my sons were younger — is that I can already see in them the “grown-up” person they will become.

    I can communicate with their old souls.

    It fascinates me.

    As for your son, yeah… I know what you mean. I can’t remember ever wondering what my sons would look like at 25 or 30 either. I guess it’s all part of the different perspectives we acquire as we grow wiser; we tend to stop the world from turning more often, in order to truly BE in the moment.

    The more conscious moments we have, the slower time passes.
    Because it ends up not existing… like it’s supposed to be.
    Or not be.

    Confused in love 😉

    April 28, 2009 at 1:04 pm

  9. MuddLavoie says:

    Bonjour Aurora!

    Such kind words — thank you.

    All you beautiful people wishing my son a happy birthday touches me deeply. Merci d’en faire partie.

    Peace & Love

    April 28, 2009 at 1:12 pm

  10. AnimaBlue says:

    What a great story, Oza!

    A baby born in the middle of laughter….that´s sounds so perfectly….you.:)

    Your son is as handsome as his mom is beautiful.

    Happy bday Vincent!

    Thanks for sharing this.

    Hugs from me,
    Aurora 🙂

    April 28, 2009 at 12:14 pm

  11. Rachel Dangermond says:

    Beautiful birth story Mudd – and isn’t it hard to believe 30 years have gone that sometimes probably seem more like 90 years. And what a beautiful name – Vincent – just striking even now to hear.

    April 27, 2014 at 8:23 am

  12. Jetske Hulshof says:

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.Happy birthday to Vincent

    April 27, 2014 at 10:52 am

  13. Mudd says:


    Even harder to believe 35 YEARS have gone by — I wrote this blog post in 2009. More harder to believe: my other son, Sébastien, turned 40 last September. And my grandsons are 12, 11, and 8!!!

    So yeah… time is a funny thing. And the best thing is, LOVE GROWS during all these wonderful years. Best investment EVER 🙂


    April 30, 2014 at 12:42 pm

  14. Mudd says:

    Jetske… long time no see!!!

    Thanks for your lovely comment… and Vincent says thanks for the wish 🙂


    April 30, 2014 at 12:44 pm

  15. Lori says:

    I think I read this a year or so ago (maybe 2?) but it’s just so lovely and captures such a specific set of feelings, such a moment in time, that it’s wonderful to read it again. <3

    April 27, 2015 at 11:38 am

  16. Mudd says:

    Awwww… thanks so much, Lori!

    I have an older son, Sébastien — he’ll be 42 in September — but he prefers to remain *private* which is why I never celebrate him on Facebook or here on my blog. But I’m so very grateful for both of them… so very proud… so very BLESSED.


    April 27, 2015 at 12:13 pm

  17. Anne says:

    What a beautiful post! And a beautiful baby! Oh my goodness! Even newborn, Vincent looked very alert and with such distinct features. Happy Birthday, Vincent!

    April 27, 2015 at 9:22 pm

  18. Mudd says:

    Hey, Anne!

    Vincent was alert, all right. When we put him in his little tub soon after cutting the umbilical cord, he stretched out his arms and SMILED — I kid you not!

    Happiest kid in the world…
    And happiest mom 🙂


    April 27, 2015 at 9:34 pm

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