I Thought We Were Going on Vacation!



I was born when my parents were both 39 years old.  That may not seem all that unusual now, but in 1946 it was not all that common to have a baby at that age – especially if you already had four teenage children!


I’m told by one of my sisters that this is the way they were told:  Mama and Daddy had taken the four of them to a movie at the neighborhood theater, and as they were walking home, Daddy said, “Remember that trip to California we were going to take next summer?  Well, we’re going to get something even better instead — a baby!”   And they were all thrilled, she says.

Okay that’s Sis’s story, and she’s sticking to it.  But I find it hard to believe that there wasn’t at least one of them grumbling under their breath, “I’d rather have the vacation.”  Vacations were not a yearly thing, so any vacation was a big deal to them and one to California was a BIG trip, because they lived in the Midwest.  But apparently they had all embraced the trade-off  by the time I was born.  See picture above.  (A therapist would probably tell me that I’ve spent my whole life trying to prove to my siblings that I’m better than a vacation!)

 I was always told by my parents that I was NOT an accident, and they always let me know I was loved, but I have to tell you that it is hard to picture a couple with daughters 16, 15 and 13 and a son 12, saying to themselves, “Wouldn’t it be fun to have another child!”  

 I’m told my name was picked by a vote.  Luckily, my brother was the ONLY one who voted for “Trigger” – the name of Roy Roger’s horse.



Because of these circumstances, I was raised more or less by committee in my early years.  I was a good child – I had to be – someone was watching me every minute!  I am told that when I was a baby, Mama had to limit each of them to rocking me for 15 minutes so that they could all have a turn (can you say spoiled?).  We have old home movies of me learning to walk with two teenagers on either side of me trying to keep me from falling.



Planned or not, it was a great life for me.  I was an aunt when I was 3 years old.  My two oldest nieces and oldest nephew, Connie, David and Susie, were really my contemporaries more than my siblings.  And my parents always said later that having me, kept them young longer.


I believe God knows and has a plan for every baby that is ever conceived.  I thank Him that my parents weren’t people who would have considered terminating a pregnancy because it came at an inconvenient time in life.

10 Responses to I Thought We Were Going on Vacation!

  1. You never told me that they traded a vacation for you! Shocking, but it does explain a lot about all of you. Love the picture. It also explains a lot.

  2. My mother found out (or should I say it finally dawned on her) at approx. 60 years old that she was, in fact, an accident. However, you couldn’t be more right about God’s plan, as she was the primary caregiver to both her parents at the end of their lives. A huge blessing to them and they loved her so very much.

  3. I wonder if you are still the center of their universe as this picture seems to suggest.

  4. […] Friday, January 2:  The story of my arrival into a family who I’m pretty sure weren’t expecting me is here. […]

  5. Kate Fischer says:

    I am so excited to discover your blog, and can’t wait to read more — I feel like I have a new best friend! I’ll get back with you!

  6. Sandra says:

    Hi, Kate! It always feels good to be “found.” And, I’m always interested in new friendships. I’ll look forward to hearing from you again!

  7. Beth says:

    What a beautiful story. I remember when you visited The One-Minute Writer, one of the first responses you wrote (maybe the very first) was about your birth, and you said you were an example of how great it is when parents don’t terminate…. I loved reading the story behind that!

    The Engineer’s siblings are all at least 16 years older than him. He has a nephew who is 2 1/2 years younger than him; they lived together in college for awhile. I think one of his nieces is even closer in age. He was definitely planned–he was an “ours” baby after his parents had both had “yours” and “mine” with previous marriages. He has the typical only child qualities–do you?

  8. Sandra says:

    Beth — If you mean by the “typical only child qualities,” spoiled — yes, that was me. I also spent much time as the only child among grown ups, so I think that may have made me a little more self-confident. Are those the traits you found in the Engineer too?

  9. Beth says:

    Sandra–Well, not so much spoiled, but very independent and, yes, self-confident. And funny little things like being offended if I squeeze in beside him to use the sink. I see it as “sharing” since I had to share a sink with two others; he sees it as “pushing him out of the way.” 🙂

  10. Sandra says:

    Hmmmm. I’d never thought of that being the reason, Beth, but I am a little protective of my “space.” Maybe that IS because I didn’t have to share on a daily basis when I was a child. Interesting point.

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