Wayne and Jackie Glessner
I, was born when my father was forty- years old. It would have been a trying experience for Mom and Dad, as they already had six-children. The youngest one closest to me was my brother, George, who was nine-years old when I arrived. I was called Butch, but I never quite knew why! Everyone had a nickname and I received mine on the day I was born.
My sister, Kay, said that Dad was so proud of me. He would put me into the stroller and pushed me in that stroller up and down Route 711 highway in Tubmill, almost wearing out the stroller’s wheels.
But this story is not about me but about how two-babies arrived in the family within a 3 months period of time.
When it is realized that when I arrived in the Glessner’s household, there were already six-children ranging in age from nine to nineteen. (4-girls and 2-boys) and I made boy #3. The girls were happy about my arrival; surprised but happy. Older brother, Bill was delighted; younger brother, George was slightly depressed; he would lose his standing of being the “baby” brother in the family.
However, if my birth wasn’t enough of a stressful event, there was another surprise that hasn’t been discussed. At home, my four older sisters: Helen, Kathryn, Maxine and Lila were taking care of a gifted sister, Jackie. She was three-months old. How a baby boy and a 3-month old girl became brother and sister was an extraordinary and almost impossible to believe event.
The surprise and the extraordinary but wonderful event was the fact that about six- weeks prior to my arrival, there arrived at the Glessner’s household a gifted bundle wrapped in a soft, pink blanket. Opening the blanket revealed a very skinny, little cross-eyed girl, having thin-stringy hair and, gosh-ugly skinny legs. Although everyone would say she was “cute,” the bundle looked more like a drowned rat that needed glasses, a new hair-do and some food. This bundle was named Jacqueline: Jackie for short.
She became my adopted sister. Apparently, my mother never knew she was pregnant with me, and I just appeared one day…as mother realized she was indeed pregnant. Nine-years had passed without any kids and now, there appeared to be a set of twins that suddenly appeared in the family to everyone’s surprise.
It was said that Mon and Dad had a “talk!” I think it was more than a talk; remember: that during these years there was much going on in the world. Life and earning a living were difficult. It was noted that Dad said, “Well Agnes, we will just have to add two- more potatoes to the pot!”
The girls were both delighted and a little stressed out as to just how these two new kids were to fit into the family. They soon found out that they could experiment with the two new infants. They had either two-boys or two-girls: it just depended on how they would dress the “twins” for the day! Mother thought the dressing ridiculous. Dad thought it was demeaning to dress a boy as a girl!
Jackie obviously didn’t know it at the time of her arrival in the Glessner’s home, but she had a younger brother who was just born that weighed in at his birth more than she did as a three-month old girl. In the flicker of a moment in time, a family of six -children became a family of eight-children; two were the same age and were consider for all intense and purposes twins. There was suddenly a need for two of everything for the new additions to the family.
George and Agnes were perplexed at this situation as were the other children; however, it soon became a reality that the older teenage girls had real…new babies to play with; the household became alive with the arrival of playing games with each other as these two kids grew older.
The reality of dressing both children alike took over, and Dad and Mom were considerable upset when people would address them as either twin-girls or twin-boys; they were typically dressed in bonnets as the older girls loved dressing up both in girl things.
This story could be written about in many ways as Jackie and I went to school together for twelve years. The first six, I spent sitting behind her in every class, as we sat in alphabetical order. I knew every hair on her head, and the ink-wells in the desk were a wonderful get even tool for paybacks.
Mom and Dad were indeed parents of a different nature and their marriage and life together was an extraordinary and eventful experience. Dad was born in 1900. Today would have been his 116 birthday. He went from an age in time when the norm was the horse and buggy and he entered into a world of heart- transplants and the landing of a man on the moon. There too was war in the world. And we talk about Change!
With all these significance changes in the world going on, George and Agnes Glessner took the time to raise eight-children and had to add two- potatoes into the pot to do it.
Thanks to Dads and Moms everywhere who care for their children. Thanks too to brothers and sisters who
helped raise two difficult little kids in troubling times.
And, Happy Birthday DAD!
And thank you Mom and Dad for doing a wonderful job as parents!