Thursday, March 26, 2009


My parents love Thanksgiving. They always have. Especially my father. For a great many years the members of our clan have gathered at my folks house for the Thanksgiving celebration, and enjoyed the amazing cooking of my mom and dad on this wonderfully American holiday.

My sister is three years older than I am. My brother two years younger. Yet we were all three born in the first week of August. For you non-math wizards out there, this puts conception right around... you guessed it... Thanksgiving.

Anyway, we always celebrated the first week in August as "Shaffer Week!" A festival of birthdays and cakes and present and pool parties. All in all a pretty good time.

This phenomenon has passed (sort of) to the next generation, for today marks the beginning of "Grandkids Season" for my folks. Today is the birthday of my nephew, Harrison. He started it all off eleven years ago. I remember his birth day quite well. The Wife and I were hanging out at the hospital with my sis. When she was moved to the birthing suite, we passed the time playing gin down the hall. My mother was standing outside the birthing suite wringing her hands. The wife sent me down to comfort my mom.

At my arrival my mother promptly clamped my arm in a death grip indicating just how worried she was about her daughter. From inside the room I could hear grunting and growling from my sister, encouragement from my brother in law and the staff, and the usual sounds of activity associated with a new life entering the world. My sis had been in labor for quite some time, and apparently had produced a womb so comfortable that my little nephew just did not want to leave. After one particularly long grunting push, my sis exclaimed quite loudly,
"Get out of there already!"

Not long after that, I heard a different sound. From inside the room, a duck quacked. Not really loud, just a short "Waack". I listened for a moment, sure that either my ears had deceived me, or this hospital was incredibly avant garde with the duck in the birthing suite therapy, when it came again.

"waark, quaak."

And with that, my little nephew finally made his way into the world. The family was ushered in soon after (I got to hold him when he was five minutes old). Many pictures were taken and brownies were smuggled to my drugged up sister by my Wife (who was just my girlfriend then, and not yet a nurse who realized what havoc food can play with a sedated individual) And we have enjoyed the little bugger ever since. Of course, he's not so little anymore!

So Happy Birthday HD! We are glad you were born!

This starts off Grandkids Season as my kids and my brothers kids were all born at various times throughout Spring. Let the festivities begin!

More Later


Mother Duckling said...

I love this post almost as much as I love my little ducky!

Quacker said...

Thank you for wishing me happy birthday in your blog! It was a great birthday. I got a lot of Wii games. Can't wait for the next time you come down, so you and your kids can see them. I got Super Paper Mario, Super Mario Galaxy, Crash Mind Over Mutant, and Pikmin (for gamecube). I know this is kind of rambling on, so I just want to say I love you.