Happy Birthday, Parker
8/8/69, the most memorable day of my life. My son, Parker, was born. Yes, I was unable to go to Woodstock, but it was worth it.
We were living in Roxbury, Ma. It was a exciting day with early morning contractions seeing us off to the hospital in Cambridge. Both Shaun (Parker's mother) the star performer on this day and I, as a bit player, were calm, which is the way we are. I remember our friend, Johnny Frazier, who lived with us the most excited one. Johnny was an African American from Jackson, Mississippi who was a fellow student at seminary with my. He was a most excitable personality in sharp contrast to Shaun and myself.
As these things go it was a rather un-dramatic event. Having taken lamaze classes, Shaun and I were somewhat prepared to take part in the delivery. I certainly was better prepared that the student nurse, who seemed bewildered. With relative ease Shaun delivered a 9 pound, 2 oz, baby. Rather big it seems. Two days later we took him home . Shaun, was only 2 pounds over her normal weight. It seems she was made to have babies. As things turned out Parker was to be her one and only.
Parker and his new best friend
"This magic moment
So different and so new
Was like any other
Until I met you
And then it happened
It took me by surprise
I knew that you felt it too
I could see it by the look in your eyes"
1969 song "This Magic Moment"
For a few years, there were three of us. Shaun and I took Parker everywhere with us. Here she is with Parker on top of Mount Washington, New Hampshire. This traditional family life did not last long as Shaun decided she wanted something else in life which did not include being a wife and mother. She moved on and Parker and I carried on as a family, A single father with a young child was a rare sight in those days. I tried hard to be the best "mother" I could be. I certainly did not want people to think I was one of those weekend father. As it turned out our life too went on in a direction I did not anticipate. Parker was the center of my life and what joy I have had over the years has been as a result of him and his growing up.
Parker was not always a little devil. In fact, he was a very easy child to raise. This costume my mother made and for a few years it was also used by my sisters boys.
1969 was an interesting year.
It was a culturally a watershed year. I also already mentioned Woodstock, which took place a week after Parker was born. Was this the last hurrah of the hippie generation. It was also the year of the Beatles last public performance. The 60's were definitely coming to and end. A new era was beginning. Astronauts landed on the moon. The Non-Proliferation Treaty was signed by many counties including the US and the USSR. There was the Stonewall Riot in New York that was the beginning of the struggle for gay rights. The first message was sent over ARPANET, the forerunner of the INTERNET, It also was the end of the cultural revolution in China. I am sure there were more but these event, looking back, were the beginning of shaping our World today.
Year later Bryan Adams sang a tribute to the "Summer of 69"
I have my own reason to cherish the summer of '69. Happy Birthday, son. Your birth was a precious gift to your mother and I. We are very proud and satisfied at how your life has unfolded. In our own way we tried our best and you have rewarded us as parents.