B is for Birds and Bees and Aunt Rita: My first genealogy lesson. Second of twenty-six posts in the April 2017 Blogging From A to Z Challenge on the theme “Whispering Chimneys: My Altamont childhood” — where my genealogy journey began. Wish me luck!
During one of their dinnertime chats — when I was about five — I stumbled into the birds and bees and got my first genealogy lesson.
Gathered around the dining table in our farmhouse kitchen were me, my mom and dad, my mom’s parents (who lived with us), and my younger brother Mark.
Saving the Laurence family line
At some point, the adults’ conversation turned to the Laurence family name — an anglicized version of my Italian great grandfather Peter Di Lorenzo’s surname.
“It’s gonna die out,” my grandfather said. My mom was married, so she was now a Charboneau. And Gramps’s brother, Uncle Joe, had two daughters and they were married, too. So that was it — no more Laurences.
Everyone seemed sad about this, and I was too. Then I remembered my mom’s single sister.
“What about Aunt Rita?” I asked. “She’s still a Laurence. Maybe she could have a baby.”
Knowing looks and smiles were exchanged around the table. My grandmother spoke up to correct me.
The stork could save the day
“No, honey, Aunt Rita can’t have a baby,” she said. “The stork only brings babies to ladies who are married.”
“That’s not true,” I responded. “The stork brought a baby to a lady on T.V. and she wasn’t married.”
“What lady on T.V.?” my dad blurted out, his face getting red.
“The one on the show Mom watches,” I replied.
Suddenly the smiles and knowing looks were gone and all eyes were on my mother.
My effort to save the Laurence name was soon drowned out by a louder discussion about what I should or shouldn’t be watching on television.
And I was left wondering why everyone was so worked up. All I was trying to do was keep the Laurence family going.
Up next: C is for Crayon Basket. Please stop back!
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