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Robert A. Mills

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Blogs by Robert A. Mills

EGGS ROSAKOVIA
9/11/2010 5:14:47 AM
The Ides of August seemed the best time for us to hold a family Sunday brunch for the purpose of informing the Georgia contingent that our youngest daughter and son-in-law are expecting a “blessed” event.

It was common knowledge that all ten members of my wife’s diverse relations had moved to metro Atlanta in the ‘90s to be near us and keep us from harm when they realized it rarely snows here and the taxes are low.

What was a secret, however, was that Alex, our youngest daughter, a graduate of the University of Georgia, now married in the 'Wedding of the Century' to Phillip Faucette, a burgeoning dentist, is expecting; she currently teaches 3rd grade at St. George’s private school in Memphis, and their first child is due in March 2011. Another Pices!

We suspected the inevitable might be imminent while we were visiting the Faucettes’ lake house over Mother’s Day, and it was confirmed with remarkable sonogram photos a month or so later, well before the rest of the family was apprised. The youngsters were home in August, the weekend before school started at St. George’s, and that seemed a logical time to get everyone together to trumpet the 'Big Announcement.'

And a Sunday brunch complete with Eggs Rosakovia was considered most appropriate.

Of course, we needed a platform, a motif, framework—-a hook—-on which to present a proclamation of this profound portent to such an erudite and perspicacious group, and, as always, my wife came to the rescue at the last moment.

“Look what I found at Walmart!” she proudly put forth on Saturday, holding up two tiny outfits (they call them “Onesies”) on which were stitched University of Georgia slogans and Bulldog characters. “They’ll get it immediately!” she reasoned, as both Alex and Phillip are UGA graduates and devoted Bulldawg alumni.

At the brunch, a most exquisite affair, it took a few seconds for the significance of the message to be decoded (some of the relatives live in a world insulated by a shroud of caution made opaque by seeming indifference,) but when the obvious became even more apparent, the shrieking and screaming erupted as if the demons of Hell had broken free (our Bichon Frieze growled and hid under the piano bench.) I was tape-recording the event, and I’m sure the audio needle, if it survived, was pinned in the red zone.

“A baby!” “Wow!” “When?” “Wow!” “How far along are you?” “What is he—-a boy or a girl?” “Wow!” “What name’s y’all picked out? Robert Phillip would be perfect! If he’s a girl, call him Phyllis Roberta!” “Wow!” “’Bout time!” “Wow!” “At least you guys broke with tradition an’ got married first!” “Wow!” “That’s different!” “Double wow!” “Throwin’ up much?” “Wow!”

Alex and Phillip, among the top 100 of God’s most beautiful people, were radiantly ecstatic—-Alex particularly, most assuredly, as she is justifiably used to being the center of attention.

At one point I got up to make a toast, but that’s as far as I got. I stood there, orange juice tumbler in hand, but no one noticed me or paid the slightest attention to the beaming, angelic gleam in my eye. Everyone, as always, was talking simultaneously, some at a volume to drown out the others, and I had no choice but to remain silent.

I thought of tapping my glass with a spoon, but I could have smacked it with a sledgehammer and those nearest might have momentarily flinched to avoid being splattered by blood, which they would have nonchalantly wiped off without missing a syllable.

It was just as well. I would have gotten only to how proud her mother and I were this day, when emotion would have overwhelmed me, and I could not have continued, anyway. It may be attributed to my dotage, but lately I find myself overcome, teary-eyed and speechless with a hot poker in my throat even if some poor bloke on TV becomes teary-eyed, overcome and choked-up because firemen fail to rescue his parakeet from the high branches. I eventually sat down, disappointed I was unable to make my well-prepared speech.

(I wonder if Alex and Phillip thought less of me; I hope they didn’t.)

I did manage a bit of a coup, however. Remembering it was also our eldest daughter Barbara’s birthday, I called her on my cell phone and persuaded the assembled body to sing “Happy Birthday” en masse and on key in a somewhat pleasant manner (much to my relief,) something which they normally do not do.

Afterwards, I passed the cell phone to Alex so she could tell her sister the grand news (more delirious screaming came all the way from Louisville, KY: “Wowie!”)

“How long have you known?” “When did Dad find out?” “Why am I always the last to know anything?”

The festive occasion, naturally, lasted well into the afternoon, even after Alex and Phillip departed for Memphis (a good six hour drive.) The day, however, was over for me, done, as it always is the moment they pull out of the driveway. As the others finally began to disperse, I remember walking Dale, one of the nephews, who was carrying his sleeping son, out through the garage.

“Goin’ home already?” I asked, as nonchalantly as possible.

“Yeah. Guess so. Gotta work tomorrow. Besides, ol’ Jocko here’s had it.”

“Yeah. Well, y’all might as well go on home then. Party’s over.”

“Yeah, might as well. Food’s all gone, anyhow. Whatcha gonna do now?”

I shrugged. “Doan know. Turn out the lights, I guess. ‘Least ‘til March.”

“How big you figure that baby is by now?”

“Doan know. Maybe like a goober pea.”

“Yeah. Well, you’ll be surprised how fast they grow.”

It suddenly occurred to me that by the time this piece is posted, the fetus would be bigger than a peach. (A Georgia peach, of course.)


Copyright©2010 by Robert A. Mills


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