Joseph is my second born son, and my largest baby. He is the biggest of the three boys.
I lost another between Aaron and Joe, then another between Joseph and Gabe, and even one more between Gabe and Melissa! Eleven pregnancies, 12 babies. I was fortunate to end up with four. So you can see why I feel so blessed!
I knew when I got pregnant with Joseph, because his Father was gone in the Military, too, only it was the Air Force, so he was back and forth quite a bit. His Father was my second husband, also the Father of the rest of my children.
So, since I knew when I got pregnant, I could figure out when he would be born and it should have been in October, between the second and third week. But Joseph just didn't seem to WANT to be born! His presumed birthdate came and went, he was as active as ever, in fact I felt he was doing full scale Jumping Jacks and Gymnastics in there!
By mid NOVEMBER, he was a month overdue and when he pushed his hands or feet up, I could actually SEE the shape and size of them. The Dr. suggested a Caesarian, but I asked him if the pregnancy seemed ok and he said yes, so I chose to just let him continue. I couldn't even bend enough to put on shoes, so it's a good thing we were still in So. Cal. The day after Thanksgiving, the Dr. induced labor, but nothing happened. Three days after that, same thing, and with a few days in between, the Dr. tried again, and still one more time. Finally, about 4 days after the last induction, I actually started labor!
It may have been all the induction tries, I don't know, but it was 2 hours only, of labor, and he weighed 8 lbs. 5 1/2 oz. I was expecting him to just come walking out, he was so late. We judged that between 30 and 40 more days, if time had continued without him being born, that I would have been pregnant a whole year! I'm sure that extra development time helped him because he was up and walking by 8 months old.
He was very observant and also seemed to like working with his hands. He was always building things, and trying to figure things out on his own. I had a breadboard in the kitchen with a metal bar that had screws on both sides. One side had come loose, so it was hanging down, held by one side, but I just hadn't gotten around to fixing it. I was out there getting ready to make dinner when I saw Joseph walk out with a screwdriver. I wondered what he had been doing in the kitchen with a screwdriver and saw the bar had been fixed on my breadboard. He was 4 years old!
He surprised me in many ways as he was growing up. He would bring me drawings to look at, saying he was trying to invent a "Food Machine", or Space Car, or some other thing, and he loved those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books. Great for the imagination.
He was quite a pest to his sister Melissa when he got older, and loved teasing her. He got big so fast, by 14 he was 6' tall, waay bigger than Mom, so discipline took some strange turns.
He had very bad vision though, and there were times I would have to go in his room and remove his glasses because he had gone to sleep in them. Then again, there were times I had to wait until he was asleep to punish him for teasing his sister. I would check if he was sleeping, get my wooden spoon and quietly sneak in and Rap his knuckles! After which, he'd wake up shocked asking me why, and I'd tell him. That's when we had some of our best talks about how to treat others, and it didn't take him long to see and understand.
Joseph was a really good student, and in his Senior year he got an award for getting all A's his whole 4 years of High School. When they gave him his pin, he said, (in front of everybody), "I think this pin needs to go to my Mom, because she is the one who kept me studying and learning"! I was so proud!
He is the only one of my boys who went into the Military. I was very upset with him, but he told me he wanted to go to College, so the Army was probably the best way to do it. At least when he graduated, we weren't in a War, so it wasn't as bad as it might have been, and when his enlistment time was up, he came back home to go to the University here.
He also worked there for extra money, and after awhile, the man he worked with said: "Joe, I have a daughter I would like you to meet." It's not often a Father approves a man for his daughter ahead of time! But Joe went to meet her, when she was home for a Break from finishing her P.H.D. and things fell into place. She graduated from a University in Texas with her degree, he graduated here, but each made it to the other's graduation.
She was going to Hawaii, had already been offered employment at the Observatory in Hilo, she is a Dr. of Astro-Physics! So after awhile, Joseph left again, but this time it was to be with his girlfriend. In a few years, they decided to get married and he sent me round-trip tickets to Hawaii for his wedding, saying he "couldn't get married" without his Mom! They have been married for four years now, and live in Pennsylvania, where she is a Professor at the University and he manages a Sporting Goods Store. I really miss him, but they came for Christmas and stayed until New Year's, so they were at Layna's big party too.
Joseph turned into a good man and I really love his wife.
The next one coming will be Gabriel......