Wednesday, May 13, 2009

April Freberg

This would have been my name.
Had I been born a girl.
My parents, in their infinite wisdom, had a girls name all picked out.
April, in honor of my birth month.
My mothers doctor, upon listening to the little hummingbird heartbeat emanating from my mothers womb, declared that I was an XX chromosome, not an XY.
"This one's got the heart of a girl", he said, explaining my future flaming metrosexuality.
"Are you sure?", inquired my mother.
"Could be wrong, but I'd be willing to bet it's a girl. The heartbeats too fast to be a boy".
Guess I was nervous already, no doubt from the second hand Folgers that I was being fed in-utero.
"No, I mean are you sure that I'm pregnant"?
"Yes, that I'm positive of. Whether it's a girl or a boy, well, lets just say I'm almost never wrong. Yep, definitely a girl".
Almost never wrong.
Almost.
So, my parents decided to trust this quack and went out and bought some cute little dresses and pink booties and in their infinite wisdom, neglected to choose a boys name. Just in case.
"Congratulations young man, you have a young man!", said the doctor to my father as he presented me to my pop.
Not too many Aprils have penises, even in Hollywood, so they had to think quick.
"We need a name for the birth certificate", said the hospital clerk.
'Baby Boy Freberg', read the little blue index card above my bassinet.
And that was the name I would answer to...
For the next sixty three months, give or take.
Baby Boy.
It was five years before another name was to replace it. That name would be given in honor of my fifth birthday. Since my parents were late on top of late with a tardy cherry on top, the name "Donavan" would not come my way till way past my fifth birthday.
July to be exact.
So let's just back up a second, shall we?
I wasn't named till I was five years and three months old.
Forward...
I was named by Santa Claus.
In July.
Backward...
The family dog, a Yorkie, was also named baby.
We both had bells, he on his red collar and me on my pink booties.
My mother would call "Baby!", and we would come running from opposite sides of the house.
Forward...
We kept the Christmas tree up for nearly all of the calendar year, adorning it with bunnies on Easter and hearts on Valentines. Sometimes even pumpkins.
So, sometime during my fifth July, underneath the sparkler and flag laden bone dry noble fir, rested my stocking.
With a little note sticking out of the top.
"What's that?", I inquired, munching on a fudgesicle.
"Why, I don't know, why don't you pull it out and see?", said daddy.
As my little heart skipped a beat, I reached my tiny hand into the bright red stocking (which had the word BABY stitched on the side).
On the onion skin paper, was a short letter, hand typed in bold.

DEAR BABY,

YOUR NEW NAME IS DONAVAN.

LOVE,

S. CLAUS

"Donavan!", I exclaimed, already literate.
"What's it mean?", I said, curious as a Cheshire.
"It's your name", said my dad proudly.
"If you don't like it, we have backup names".
My dad was big on backups. He had two identicals of every shirt, typewriter, car.
"Donavan...I like it!", I said.
"Good", he said.
"If you change your mind, we also thought of Buckminster, Einstein, or Picasso"
"Donavan's neat!", I said..."But what's wrong with Baby?"
"Baby's fine for around the house, but when you start school it might be better to call yourself 'Donavan'".
I had heard the name "Dominic" being bandied about by some people, first uttered by my sisters friend David Cassidy, but had no idea that a variation of it would become my name. I also had no idea what this "School" thing was, but I didn't like the sound of it at all. Any place where you had to be something other than your true self couldn't be good.
"Guess we'd better get you a new stocking", said my father.
"By The Way, Your Middle Name Is Stanley. That Way, If You Ever Want To Work In Show Biz, You Can Just Call Yourself Stan".
I skipped off in my pink footsy pajamas, note held tight in my chocolatey hands, shouting "DONAVAN!" at the top of my lungs, with baby the terrier chasing me through the great white halls of Castle Freberg.
Should I mention that my mothers name and my sisters name, is DONNA?
Nah.

3 comments:

  1. I was convinced that I would be thrown out of school on the first day if I didn't go in knowing how to read. So I taught myself how to read the summer before school started. Not that it helped. Because I ended up going to a school which taught in a language I didn't even know how to speak.

    True story.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Donavan, I hadn't read your blog until right now. This is too awesome.

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