On a late Sunday night I sit up going through papers, writing checks, paying bills and other minutiae. I have a special place for very important papers. It’s where I keep my old passports, extra checkbooks, notes from special folks, and my birth certificate.
I don’t think I’ve every really read it. It’s necessary for all sorts of identification purposes, so when it’s requested, I just sort of hand over a copy and leave it at that. But tonight I took a good hard look at it and realized how amazing this document is.
I was born at 4:47 p.m. ten minutes before that, my parents had no idea if I was a boy or a girl. Nine months before that, they only had an inkling that another would be joining their brood. Before them I was absolutely nothing.
My father was 33 when I was born. As I type this, I’ve logged three months in my 32nd year. My mother’s signature looks exactly the same as it does now. They signed these papers over on Nov. 12, that means I wasn’t official for about five days before they decided that I was worth hanging onto.
The address of the person who certified my birth is house number 666. That’s a bit foreboding. I’d love to visit that address or find that person and thank them. Tell them how great these years have been.
Every person born is a miracle. Every single one of them and looking at this is kind of freaking me out. My mortality, meaning, life, death, all bundled up in a watermarked piece of paper.
Holy crap. You really ought to find yours and scrutinize every detail and realize that everything you know began right there.