As usual on Wednesday nights here fifteen or sixteen of us go out for dinner, at which time those who have had a birthday that week are celebrated. So last Wednesday after the cards and songs for two of us, I told the following story:
Eighty-six years ago in Seattle's Swedish hospital, a hospital that still exists, a strikingly beautiful Canadian woman of twenty one, an illegal immigrant, gave birth to a 7.6 oz baby girl. When Dr. Torland held me up for my mother to see, she screamed. Her baby was not perfect, for the second and third toes on both feet were webbed. She begged Dr Torland to take a scalpel and cut them through, and even though he was one of many men who was smitten with my mother's beauty and charisma, he refused.
When I was little and other kids pointed at my toes and teased me, I tried to hide my feet.
I guess I was seven or eight,
by then altogether used to my mother's romantic dalliances, that I noticed my beloved father had identical webbed toes. I realized then I was his kid, and ever since I have celebrated my uniqueness.