Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Were You Planned? Did It Matter?

Your parents will tell you what you want to hear or tell you what they've convinced themselves to believe.  They might even be reliable witnesses to their own lives and tell you the truth.  By the time you ask, "Was I planned?" they might have even forgotten.

"When I found out you were coming," my mother told me, "I was so happy.  Three children seemed to me to be a real family."  Happy is good, but I can't remember if that's the same as being planned.

Being happy to have me is probably much more important than intending to have me.  I can't say being planned or unplanned mattered one way or the other.  Everyone adjusted.

There are five of us in my family.  I think it went like this:  unplanned, planned, unplanned, planned, unplanned.

These days, except in religious communities, it might be hard to find a family with more than three children (per parent).  The 2011 fertility rate in Canada was 1.61 children per woman; 1.89 in the USA.  Many will likely be planned.  In fact, a US study found that between 1982 and 2010, 63% of babies were intentionally conceived.

My husband was planned.

Roosevelt signing the declaration of war against Germany
Almost 75 years ago, on Krystallnacht (November 9), his father, Kurt Baecker was arrested and sent to Dachau.  At that time, the Nazis hadn't yet conceived of the Final Solution, and would deport Jews if they could find a country willing to take them.  Kurt's family managed to find a very distant relative in the USA who was willing to sign an affadavit of support.  Once in America, Kurt and Alice, his wife, desperately tried to get Alice's parents out of Vienna.

December 7, 1941
Japan bombs Pearl Harbour
Kurt and Alice realize that the US will now enter the war, and it will be impossible to get any family members out of Europe.  They decide that night to start their own family.

My husband was born Oct. 7, 1942, exactly 10 months after the bombing of Pearl Harbour.

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