Thursday, October 17, 2013

Baklava, ten dollars, and 26 years.



I don't remember the day I was born, but I'm grateful for people who do, so I can learn the stories.

Like how I was four days early, so when my mom drove herself to the hospital, she wasn't planning to stay and go into labor. My dad had to rush home and pack suitcases and toothbrushes on the fly. 

Like how I had a head full of fluffy black hair, which, in case you didn't know, is nothing like the hair I ended up with. Whenever we would play "Guess Whose Baby Picture This Is!" in elementary school, I was always mistaken for a boy. 

Or like how the day after I was born, the nurse told Mom that she could walk around, so she and Dad decided to take a stroll...

...Out of the hospital and down Peachtree Street to grab some beignets at Huey's.

Needless to say, their off-campus jaunt got them scolded by the nurse, who had only meant a walk... down the hallway.   

But my favorite 10/17/87 story goes something like this:

Around dinner the day I was born, Dad stopped by Athens Pizza for takeouts. Mrs. P, who owned the place with her husband, was sitting at the front table greeting diners. Dad told her that his first child, a daughter, had just been born. Mrs. P didn't hesitate. She went to the big glass case of desserts (which I have drooled over many times since) and took out a piece of baklava. She wrapped it for my father, and handed it to him, along with a ten dollar bill. Her way of celebrating with us.

It's a given, then, that I've been going to Athens since I was very small. I grew up on their thick-crust pizza, junior Greek salads, and a dessert from the magical glass case every now and again. I was back there this weekend with my parents and grandparents, home for a visit. "I haven't been here in so long!" I exclaimed as we looked at the menus (even though I already knew what I wanted).

"Well, actually, you were 'here' recently," Dad pointed out. And he was right. Two weeks ago, I called my parents, who happened to be enjoying Sunday brunch at Athens with my grandparents. They put me on speaker. "He proposed yesterday!" I called out, imagining them leaning towards the phone in the middle of the round table. And suddenly all I could hear was their loud cheering that must have rung through the entire restaurant.

So yes, we went full circle in celebrations. Seems appropriate for the place that so sweetly celebrated my first day on earth. May there be many more.

Speaking of those glass case desserts...

1 comment:

Ann K said...

Is Mrs. P still around? She would love this story!