Talk about foretelling, the winds of March blow and blow. The cold runs through me. My hair is in disarray. Where is the ‘going out like a lamb’? Not here in Springfield, where today the temperature hovered at 28 degrees fahrenheit. It’s my birthday month and I’m certain the Weather Gypsy purposely brought me into this world in a blow out of winds and cold temperature and then laughed at me labeling me the ‘blustering baby’. On the other hand what better month for my birth. I was prepared for life in that moment. The ups and downs were there with me from the beginning. My petite mom was in labor, so I’m told, for a week before this over nine pound baby was born. And I looked just like my dad until I was in my sixties. At that time almost suddenly in a moment my mom peeked out from the mirror. I laugh at the idea but then I remember I was named for both parents, Kathleen for Catherine my mom and Joan for John my dad. Seems fitting for them both to show up.
I so identified with my dad. Consciously. I became an engineer like him. I was a college professor and a constant teacher to anyone who would listen. Just like him. His interactions were subtler than mine. I loved the water as my father, the fish, did. I dreamed impossible dreams as he did. I am grounded in the need to work as he was. I am in wonder at the world around me mimicking his love of nature, people, and the world.
And my mother…. the influence did indeed take. She was a fashionista and loved retail. I intuitively rejected the large mark-ups, but I still shop. I remember her insisting, “No matter what you are doing there is no excuse for looking untidy or unaware of culture.” She was slow and steady, working tirelessly all day long. I’ve been told I’m like an ant doing little jobs one at a time but always finishing the task at hand. She expected to succeed. I don’t know if I had those expectations but I wanted to please her. Consistency, for sure, was her lasting lesson for me.
Not one of my family (own progeny, siblings, nieces and nephews) were born in March. As a middle child of five and with this large extended family of my own, no other has a March birthday. I am a middle child and it has been said that middle children can be reactionary. Me….reactionary? Blame it on my birth month. I have no control!!!!
K. B. Pellegrino, Author