1-IN THE BEGINNING
And, onto the earth, a Savior was born. Or, something like that. I wouldn’t call my birth a historical event, unless of course you ask the woman that suffered through labor in order to bring lil’ ‘ole me into the world. Thanks, Mom. For life, and for every day since. You are one tough cookie and I know from experience that raising me wasn’t easy. You once said that whatever I gave to you I’d get back two-fold. I now feel your pain. But, more about that later.
I was born on September 4, 1979 at 3:13am. Somehow, I’ve outgrown my “early-bird” ways. Early mornings certainly are not my style. I was what my Grandmother called, “Cute.” A far cry from the normal labels that she gave to babies, “Homely, ugly, squishy-faced.” My Grandmother calls ‘em like she sees ‘em. I know, I know, there was bias there (first grandchild and all) but, if you knew my Grandmother, you’d know that “Cute” was a compliment. And, she meant it.
I didn’t start out with a white picket fence and my story isn’t perfect. My Mom was a single lady, opting to raise me on her own rather than to share me with a man that didn’t quite fit in the “Daddy” shoes. Those shoes were filled just two months later by an incredible man that stepped in, asked to be my Daddy and even got up with me at night. Happy Ending? For sure! Thanks, Dad.
You might be wondering what makes my story book worthy. Well, it is because I say it is and I promise, you are in for quite a ride. Ups, downs, backflips, forward rolls, falls, climbs and a few plateaus, my life is sure to make you laugh, cry and stare at your book, bewildered, unsure what to make of it all. You see, my Mother set me up for something when she gave me my name.
If you watched Soap Operas, especially All My Children and Ryan’s Hope in the late 1970’s, you may recognize my first and middle names. Erica. Yes, after the Erica Kane of All My Children. Of course, Erica Kane has had a few more last names than me, but not by much. I have entertained five different last names in my 33 years! (Soap Opera~I told you!)
My middle name, which still causes a slight shudder each time I admit to it, is Ryan. Ryan, named after the star role in Ryan’s Hope. This name, of course, was Mom’s second choice. She first opted for Tessa Lynn, which my Uncle informed us meant something like “Shit Head” in Lebanese. I don’t know, I believed it then, but, I’m feeling a little gullible as I write it out in black and white.
Anyway, Erica Ryan BirthName, (MaidenName), MarriageOne, MarriageTwo, Buteau. Soap Opera extraordinaire. That’s me! I didn’t get the glitz, the money, the glamour, but somehow, I managed to carry forward the Soap Opera Drama. I keep thinking that life will settle down, and, although it certainly has, drama seems to find me, no matter where I hide. I can only imagine that “Normal” is boring, although some days I certainly try to seek it out.
Growing up was an adventure all on its own, especially for my brother. I was a tormenter. Our Mother has pictures of me, all smiles, happily sitting in his crib, his face tear soaked. Yes, I’d climb into his crib, just to make him cry. I grew out of that stage, though, and into going into his room just to make him cry. And, hey, I only almost killed him once. Well, twice. But, in my defense, I didn’t know what I was doing either time….