On August 3, 1981, the world as we knew it, changed. A little baby boy was born at Bethesda Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. His entrance swept up 18 hours of earthly time, taking his own time coming into the world. Well worth the wait! When my eyes saw the little one, I smiled and smiled again. He had a small dunsel cap on his head, Some people call it a tobagan. Some kind person crocheted the cap. He looked so cozy and warm. The nurses only allowed me to hold Michael for a few minutes in those first moments of bonding. I was told that his blood sugar level was low, and that he would need some glucose water. I gave him to the nurse, and waited. In an hour or so, to the best of my recollection, I held Michael in my arms once again. I fed him and cuddled him close to me. The short stay at Bethesda Hospital was without problems. He just had a small case of higher than acceptable bilirubin. He presented with some yellow jaundice, but we were able to take him home. With some exposure to sunlight, he recovered from the jaundice quite nicely. Michael had dark beautiful hair. He had chubby cheeks and a ruddy complexion. He was so beautiful.

His first week at home was uneventful and filled with calmness and sleeping a lot. His brother and sisters took turns holding him and rocking him and just in general having fun with a new baby in the house. We all held Michael a lot in those days. He was so easy to handle and was so animated when he saw our faces.

A funny turn of events brought the calm to a halt, when our former neighbors from Knoxville, Tennessee surprised us with a visit when Michael was only 5 days old. They arrived unannounced and asked if they could spend the night at our house. We said okay, but we were not ready for company. Little did we know that they had a billy goat in their truck and it spent the night in our garage. There was a sizeable amount of discord that evening. Or should I say arguing? Finally, Michael’s Dad told them they would have to leave, as we were all exhausted. Needless to say, we never saw them again. The unexpected can be over the top, so to speak.

On a much lighter note, our lives did change. Michael brought laughter and joy to all of us every day. I cannot remember a time that we ever had to say no to Michael. I do recall that his first kindergarten teacher in Bowden Georgia told me on Parent Conference, that Michael was always pleasant and cheerful, and that she knew that his needs were always met at home. That was a huge compliment and never forgotten. Michael went to kindergarten again in Knoxville, Tennessee when we returned to live there. He continued to change lives wherever he went. And yes, the beat goes on.

Happy Birthday, Michael Karl Maelzer, on your 37th fabulous birthday! Love, Mom