It’s a what?!

It’s a what?!

It was a particularly cold February morning in the year of 2000. My mother and father were rushing to the hospital because they knew their baby was coming.

For now we’ll go back to when it all started. After finding out that my mom was pregnant my parents were ecstatic; My Mom claims that she was  “the happiest I have ever been in my life”. There was just one problem my mom did not want to have my gender revealed. My dad on the other hand wanted to know what he was having, but what could he say to his pregnant wife? So as a good husband and soon to be father would do, he agreed to keep the gender unknown. Things were going soundly through the first half of the pregnancy until my mom had a calling, “I know that our baby is going to be a girl; I only have sisters and I just have this weird feeling and I know we’re going to have a baby girl”. My dad secretly wanted a son so this was a little unsettling to him but he agreed with his pregnant wife and comforted her and said, “You are probably right” but the whole time he was hoping that I would be a boy. At the tail end of my moms pregnancy she had this great idea to paint my soon to be room pink. Even though my dad was extremely reluctant to do so, he showed his support yet again by agreeing with my mom and painting my room pink. Laying in bed one night my mom started proposing names for their newborn baby girl. My dad and mom both came to a compromise on the name Evelyn, the name that belonged to my grandmother who passed away long before I was born. At this point just about everything was settled and my parents were all ready for their baby to be born.

When my parents arrived to the hospital they were immediately brought into the delivery unit and soon my mother went into labor. After over 12 hours of labor I was finally born. When the doctor said, “you guys are the parents of a beautiful 10 pound baby BOY” my mom was extremely upset. Not at the fact that I was a boy but at the fact that she was wrong this whole time. My parents knew that they had to keep the tradition in my dads family of naming the first born son Joseph and by taking the formal name of the priest who baptizes you. So my name was Joseph Michael Abely. Needless to so say my dad was busy the next couple of days repainting my new room.

One thought on “It’s a what?!

  1. The stuff about your parents’ gender expectations for you is funny and interesting.

    I wish there were more about the names. By pre-naming you Evelyn your parents may have been making a connection to the past. What do you think it was about Grandmother Evelyn that they wanted to remember?

    Your family’s pattern of naming men Joseph + Priest’s name is fascinating. I want to know a lot more about it – how common is that, when did the tradition arise and why?

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