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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What does A.J. stand for ?

In late summer of 1994, Along came A.J.. I was happy to have a younger brother but I also meant substantial change in our family. Even though we were 2 girls and 2 boys, we still needed at least one more bedroom, both because of me (let’s just say my sleeping patterns didn’t match everyone else’s) and because there were enough years between Allison and Annie that they each really needed their own rooms. There were enough biological years between A.J. and I to warrant separate rooms also but in developmental years, I was still an infant so it was ok to share for a while. And then there was the car issue. Mom had three of us in car seats and we couldn’t go anywhere as a family in one car, so it was off to the car lot to get a mini-van and say goodbye to dad’s Honda that he liked so much ….

Now, since I told you all about the turmoil around Annie’s Name, it is only fair that I tell you of how A.J. became A.J.. In keeping with the now-tradition of us all being named after other family members, mom and dad decided to name A.J. Alec John. Alec was a derivative of Alexander for (the middle name of) dad’s grandfather and uncle, and John was for mom’s brother-in-law. They had decided early in the pregnancy that this was to be A.J.’s name and quite naturally they started referring to him as Alec John. Like me – I am “Andrew” -- never “Andy”, A.J. would be “Alec John” -- never just “Alec” ) but that turned out to be quite a mouthful> firly quick, he became A.J. (and eventually just J.)

All that sounds quite reasonable and understandable but when he was born and the hospital asked mom and dad what the name would be, they looked at each other and decided on the spot that “Alec John” was too much of a mouthful - and it just didn’t fit. They quickly came up with “Addison”, after a favorite person on dad’s side of he family and “Montague” because it was a family name and sounded nice with Addison. But they still called him either “A.J.” ! Poor guy, he has and will go thru life being called by initials that have nothing to do with his real name and being asked to explain it.

So A.J. was born in March 1995 and came home to the rest of us. By this time I was 4, out of Birth-to-Three and attending ACES. On a fairly regular basis mom would get a note from ACES (as she had from Birth-to-Three) that Chicken-pox was making the rounds in my school and to be on the lookout. This had happened so many times. Mom would watch diligently since neither she or Allison had ever had Chicken-pox…and nothing would happen so when yet another note came home three weeks after A.J. was born, it was not tken as much to be concerned about.

Oops… big mistake ……

Two days later the first pox appeared on my face…

It wasn’t too bad for me, I had a fair number of pox but I never really scratched hem or became too ill… but then,….

all three girls got the Chiken-pox. Annie, Allison and mom, all at once, all fairly bad (mom was the worse), all layed outon the sofa feeling ill and looking to dad to take care of them.

That was one long week but it finally ended and they all started to feel better ….but then ….

A.J. got them. Try to picture a 4 week old baby literally covered head to toe with Chicken-pox. Not a pretty sight….

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