Thirty-one years ago today our son was born at the Etobicoke Hospital. My wife Rosanne had been in labor for 25 hours before delivering a healthy eight pounds, six ounce baby boy.
I was the first to hold him. A robust nurse appeared in the waiting room, asked my name thrust him bundled into my arms, she’d be back soon she said and disappeared.
I was left alone holding what seem a lot of baby, for an hour.
I wanted to call him something simple. Bill or maybe John. Not saddle him with the full, long family name. Rosanne looked at me with fire in her eyes. “He’s Nathaniel Clarke Wallace 1V. Like it or lump it, Clarke.”
He’s Nathaniel. Mostly Nat to others. Sometimes ‘Nathan’.
I phoned Nathaniel this morning, wishing him Happy Birthday and wanting to know what he remembers about growing up.
“What really pissed me off,” he said, “is you, dropping me off at public school on a ‘Snow Day’. When there were a few teachers there but no one else.
We signed him up for golf lessons living as we are on a golf course. “You couldn’t hit a ball straight, Dad,” he said happily, “if your life depended on it. You only wanted me to make up for how lousy you were at golf.”
Nathaniel quit after lesson two, because he had no interest in the game.
Author’s comment: Nathaniel, at age 31. Today. He found his own way in life. He works in PR. Public relations. Which includes a lot of writing. Hmm.