Difficult Beginnings

Justin Newborn
Author of this blog

It all started here. I still can’t get my hair to cooperate and I still make that face—I’m making it now. I never noticed before how much I looked like a hardened criminal when I was born.

Howard Rhonda 1975 cropped
The people responsible for the existence of the author of this blog

Or, maybe it started here, in 1975, a couple of years before the photo of the confused and hardened criminal looking infant above. If you guessed that these are my folks, you’re right—I bet you can guess who passed on the unruly hair gene. They were still teenagers in this photo. You’ll be seeing more of them in future posts. People say I look like my dad—you’ll get a chance to judge that for yourself later.

Anyway, regardless of when or where it started, it’s worth noting that I was late for my own birth—something that would become a pattern in my life. That’s not to say I’m late for appointments, I just tend to let life pass me by. It’s like Pink Floyd says, “10 years have got behind you / no one told you when to run / you missed the starting gun.”

I’m told it was not easy to bring me into this world. Lots of pushing, lots of pain, lots of poop. Not only was my mom in labor for two-and-a-half days, but she apparently has a flat area in her pelvic bone where it should be round. I probably should have been forcibly removed via C-section, however, despite my best efforts, my mother managed to push me out of her body and into this world.

In addition to showing up late, I had colic. This made the early days of my life hell for my parents. My dad was working at the local grain elevator and my mom was starting her career as a stay-at-home mom. I’m not clear on the details, but I guess my colic was causing my dad to miss sleep and miss work. The way the story goes, my dad’s boss at the time was giving him grief about missing work and coming in late, so, my dad quit on the spot.  I like to think that my introverted, sleep deprived father pulled off his Co-op hat, threw it down in the dirt and said the words every employed person has longed to say: “I QUIT!” But, knowing my dad, it was probably more civilized than that, but this is my story and I can imagine it how I want.

It’s worth mentioning that my birth and early life was traumatic enough that my parents decided to never have any more children. My dad actually got a vasectomy a few weeks after I was born. He had a difficult time finding a doctor who would perform the surgery on someone who hadn’t even reached the legal drinking age.

Welcome to life, kid.


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