The months seemed to fly by for everyone but Mother. She was getting more miserable by the day it seemed. Himself stuck close to home for some reason but he was still going out on occasion to either pretend to, or actually look for work. He was at home during the day but not necessarily at night.
I had just received my First Holy Communion but I didn’t like the fancy dress and veil I had to wear and then horror of horror, I had to go to a photography studio and get my picture taken. I hated to have my picture taken then and even to this day I am never happy when someone is pointing a camera at me. Even though she wasn’t up to it, Mother had a little party with just a few aunts and uncles. I did like the cards I received because they had money in them. I knew I would be able to buy candy for a long time but Mother took the money and just doled it out to me a little at a time. Mother was pretty tired after the party, so we tried to be quiet and let her rest.
Since no one was expecting a boy this time, the pressure was off Mother for that at least. Even so, she couldn’t wait to get it over with and have the baby. She had decided that she wasn’t having any more children after this one! No matter what the Church said. She’d throw Paddy out and never let him come back if that’s what it took. He was never much help anyway.
Paddy had taken to going out with his buddies at night; going who knows where and not coming home until all hours. He never seemed to be there for dinner anymore and he would come home around 2 am and then he would cook himself a big meal and even make coffee. This was while everyone else was trying to sleep. And Mother had morning sickness most of the day and night only eating crackers and tea. The aroma of the food he was cooking was making her sick, so she would get up and tell him to get to bed and stop making a racket in the kitchen. An argument usually followed and soon everyone was awake.
Finally it was time to go to the hospital as Mother was in labor. And she usually delivered fast. That was one good thing. Paddy didn’t have the truck anymore so they had to wake Mrs. D. who woke her husband to drive Mother to the hospital. Mrs. D. did not drive and her husband liked it that way, so he never taught her.
Mrs. D. offered to stay with the kids if Paddy wanted to go with Mother but he declined saying he would just as soon stay home. He assumed it would be another girl so he really wasn’t that interested in being there. Mother was embarrassed but said nothing.
When the nurse brought the baby to Mother after the delivery and told her it was a boy, she couldn’t believe it! After having four girls it was a shock. And the baby looked just like Paddy with the blond hair and blue eyes. Of course when Paddy heard the news, he was so happy he went out and bought cigars and called everyone in the family. The family was thrilled over the news, including the four sisters. They couldn’t believe it!
Paddy came to the hospital with flowers and candy and strutted in like a big shot. I guess after four girls he deserves to act a bit crazy, Mother thought. But she reserved the right to name the boy after all she had been through. In spite of Paddy’s wishes to name the baby after himself, Mother named the boy Edward, after King Edward of England, who had just abdicated in favor of marrying an American.
To be continued.