At 40 years old, having a baby was the last thing on my parents’ minds. That is, until they had a baby. Me. While I know I wasn’t planned, I’ve been assured time and time again that I was a welcome addition to the family. This isn’t what troubles me, though.
It isn’t the deliberateness of my existence that disturbs me, but the timing of my birth. I was born just four days after Eric’s 13th birthday, meaning that for the majority of his twelfth year, my mother was pregnant with me. Why is this significant? He was molested at age 12. Sometime during that year, his innocence was stolen, his life instantly changed. Had he tried to tell my parents, but worried they were too distracted with an unexpected pregnancy and didn’t want to bother them?
I know this thought isn’t rational, but it still haunts me. What if I’d been born earlier, or later, or not at all? What if he resented me? It’s at times like these that I fully appreciate my father’s avid photography. These photos tell me I was a happy, if unexpected, addition to the family. And judging from how close Eric and I grew over the years, he never wished I wasn’t in the picture.