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