All told, over 163 million people are expected to tune into Super Bowl XLVI (for a refresher on a fourth grade study of Roman numerals, number 46). That represents almost half of the entire population of the United States. I am willing to bet that, for the majority of people, Super Bowl Sunday is all about football. For me, it is an treasured anniversary. Because science and medicine played an important role alongside of love in the conception of my children, I can chart the dates of their conception. Super Bowl Sunday was one such date.
The practice of keeping track of both the conceptual dates and the delivery dates of our children started with my mother. My mother would proudly cite the dates of my sister’s and my conception as evidence that we were planned. My mother’s was from an era and a family that unplanned births were “unfortunate.” Her younger sister by twelve years was one such birth. Her mother was 41 years old when her third child was born. I grew up thinking it was perfectly normal to acknowledge both dates pertaining to my own birth, December 31st and September 5th. A gestational calendar calculates my mother could have expected to deliver me on September 23rd, plus or minus two weeks. I arrived just over two weeks early. It has been my habit to arrive early ever since. Meetings, appointments and engagements -- I am always one of the first ones there. If need be, I will pass the time in my car, in a corridor or a coffee shop so that I don’t appear over eager or socially awkward. I have a friend who announces an annual “First to Arrive” award at his Christmas party. I do not want to be chosen for that particular honor!
It wasn’t until high school that I found out it was not common, not even a little bit, to have such specific information about one’s conception. When the topic came up with my best-friend, Jan, I clearly remember her reaction, “Ewww, yuk, that is so gross.” With that succinct of a declaration, I kind of got her point. And, what do you know? Almost thirty years later, when I mentioned the significance of Super Bowl Sunday as well as December 25 and July 25 to one of my children, the response was hauntingly familiar, “TMI (too much information), that’s gross. Just STOP.” So I did.