In 1989 we moved to Sarasota…and became parents.
I was now managing tax software projects for AA&Co.
Same company. Different job. Different culture (or lack therof…).
It’s a doody (1989)
I have no idea who gave me this tee shirt, or when I got it. But it was before Joseph arrived on 12/30/89.
We had been married 14 years when out-of-the-blue Paula announced that she wanted to have a child. I was surprised. Shocked is more accurate. I was 40; she was 37.
We decided to keep it a secret in case there were complications.
And boy-oh-boy, did we keep it a secret!!
There were a couple of going away parties in Portland that May. It was her first trimester. She didn’t have a drink, and a few people noticed and commented. But that was easy to explain: she was my designated driver. Only a handful of people knew what was on the horizon.
We didn’t tell our parents until after Thanksgiving.
Keeping it a secret from them had a reason at first: we wanted to ride all the roller coasters at Six Flags that May of 89, and we knew that it would freak out both of our mothers if they knew she was pregnant. (The doctor had given her the go ahead.)
Then it became a joke. We would laugh about what we’d say to them when they “forgot” his birthday.
When I finally broke the news, my Mom didn’t think it was all that funny.
“Mom, I’ve got some news…we’re gonna have a baby!”
“Oh, oh, oh…that is wonderful. When?”
“In just over a month…” was greeted with stony silence.
She got over it..in time.
The delivery didn’t go as planned. Her water broke before sun up. She insisted that I go to work anyway.
Early afternoon she called and said it was time to head to the hospital. I had a boom box and a few mix tapes for the birthing room.
Paula spent the next few hours on a gurney in the hall, attached to some monitors. All the birthing rooms were taken. In fact all the rooms in the maternity ward were occupied. It was awful.
She was moved to a traditional room for awhile, and finally to a birthing room. She dilated to 4 cm and no more…for hours!! At some point she decided she had had enough of this “natural child birth” and gave permission for an epidural.
It never happened.
Before the anesthesiologist arrived, one of the monitors went berserk: the fetal heart rate was crashing.
They spirited her off for an emergency C section, leaving me standing in the hall. I hadn’t slept in 24 hours. My mind was racing….I was scared shitless.
An hour later I saw them both. She was asleep. He had 10 fingers, 10 toes and a gleam in his eye.
It was all good.
She had to stay a couple of nights. I snuck a bottle of champagne into the hospital for new year’s eve, On the drive home, after I struggled to get him into the car seat for the very first time, was when it really hit us: our lives had changed. And we had no idea what we were doing!!
Seventeen months later Caroline showed up. Straight to the birthing room. Vaginal delivery. 10/10/gleam.
Two kids in diapers is great fun, eh?
AATTG Beach Party (1993)
This was the first office-wide beach party in Sarasota for AATT-whatever.
My Tax Director team had been having “release parties” since I first transferred from Portland in ‘89. We had some fun times at a tiki hut bar at Azure Tides Resort.
The party at Nokomis Beach was OK…but couldn’t compete with those flings at Azure Tides.
I got this tank top because I was on the beach party committee.
Stressed out in South Carolina (1995)
We took a family road-trip to Myrtle Beach.
I kept getting sucked back into what was happening…or not happening…at the office.
E-mails. Phone calls. Conference calls.
We stopped somewhere in S.C. for potty breaks and snacks.
This was before cell phones. (Thank you baby Jesus!!!)
I called into the office on the incoming Watts line. (Remember pay phones and Watts lines??)
The three of them came out of the 7-11 with this tee for me.
I loved it.
I still do.
This tee had been threadbare for awhile, tucked away in a box like most of the shirts in my memory quilt.
Now it is where it belongs.
1041 Summer Project (1995)
Things were always changing in SRQ.
AATT-whatever had a new name. Again.
I had a new job: Director of Development for the Individual market.
My years of reporting to Chicago were over.
My direct boss was in the same building as me, but there was still this crazy “matrix management” nonsense.
My involvement with this project was minimal: get them the staff and the tools they needed, and get out of the way.
The team rewarded me with a tee shirt and a project that delivered quality and delivered it on time.
Tee shirt gap
I left AATT-whatever in 1996 and moved back to Portland.
No tees from my time at Stockamp & Associates. But there are some denim shirts that might make Quilt #2, if/when there is one.
No tees from my time at Jackson Hewitt.
I burned any article of clothing that would ever make me think of Sport Clips.
The shirts from years beginning with a two are up next time….