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In The Beginning

by Margaret Fieland

In The Beginning



My mother was thirty-seven when I was born in 1946, which for the time was unusually late for a first child. It was years before I knew her true age: when I was in elementary school she took ten years off her age. She later claimed it was because she was afraid my sister and I would be nervous, as the (much younger) parents of a couple of our friends had died unexpectedly. When I asked one of my cousins about this years later she admitted that they had known and had kept the secret. I was bummed. I was also mad at myself for not figuring the whole thing out. I'd had all the data: my grandmother's age, the age my grandmother was when my mother was born, and my mother's age. They didn't add up. I figured that much out, but was unable to come to the now obvious conclusion: my mother had lied about her age.

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