A Star is Born: Happy Birthday To My Son Dillon!

Today is my oldest son Dillon’s birthday! Happy 26th birthday! Wasn’t it just yesterday that I hand drew and hand painted you this Super Mario Bros. turtleneck? It was your favorite.

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The tale of how Dillon was born is filled with enough scandal, high drama and humor to fill a full-length movie– fitting since he is an actor. Here is a little bit of how the story goes.

In the fall of 1987 at a party at my sisters’ new house, I met the young man who would become my first husband. I was 17, he was 24. I kept hearing about this friend of my sister’s who was so cool and artsy and funny. They called him “Lotto Larry” (L.L.) because when he was 21 he won $1.7M in the CT State Lottery. That’s $60K a year for 20 years in case you’re wondering.

How exciting, a lottery winner! For some reason I thought he would resemble Richard Gere in Pretty Woman, tall and debonair, hair slicked back, his expensive cologne wafting through the air. He’d be chewing on an expensive cigar and talk to me about music, art and literature. But when I saw L.L., he was wearing army fatigues, a band t-shirt and had long tousled hair partially covering his brown eyes. He was really funny and charming and did talk to me about music, art and literature and that is how he “got me.”

The following spring he took me on a trip to Arizona to see some of his investment homes, gaze at the awesomeness of the Grand Canyon, the breathtaking beauty of Sedona and other sites. Little did I know, on that trip, a little baby was conceived.

In the summer of 1988, we stuffed as many of our belongings as we could into his friend’s van and took off from Brookfield, Conn. to drive to our new home in Mesa, Ariz. I was 18, he was 25. After telling our parents, he decided, based on their reaction, that the best place for a soon-to-be teen mom to care of the growing baby in my belly would be across the country, far far away from our strict religious and traditional families.

My pregnancy was incredibly relaxing, happy and very low-stress. Each day I drifted around on my monkey float in the in-ground pool, reading books about Elvis. For some reason I became obsessed with The King during my pregnancy and even began to dream he was my high school sweetheart. I slept a lot, ate a ton, and my belly grew and grew. L.L. would play jazz music through the headphones and place them on my stomach so the baby could hear and be cultured and cool when he was born. And of course he was and still is.

L.L. talked me into natural childbirth so we went through the Lamaze classes and did everything we could to prepare. When it was time for our baby boy to come into the world he wasn’t quite ready and made us wait three whole days past my due date. My back hurt so much at that point that I had to roll out of bed and on to the floor to stand up. On the night they were going to induce me I began contractions on my own and so our bouncing baby boy was finally on the way.

During labor my back was in so much pain it was excruciating, but I didn’t take any drugs.  A college class came in halfway through and asked if they could stay and watch. A teen mom, first baby and no drugs? Ummm, NO.

It finally was time and the head was coming out. The nurse asked us if we wanted to see. I am easily grossed out by the sight of blood so I said no. L.L. said yes. As soon as he saw, his knees buckled and he fainted. The nurses caught him and rushed to his aid, giving him a cold cloth and a drink. Hello? I’m over here having a baby?!

He got over his wooziness and was by my side when Dillon was born, on February 27, 1989. He was 8 pounds and 7 1/2 ounces of pure joy. When Dillon entered this world it truly was like a star was born. The Netherlands, where his father’s family is from,  rejoiced that there was another boy to carry on the family name in America. And he has been getting star treatment, laughs and lots of attention ever since.

Before I got pregnant with Dillon I was living a wild and crazy life. Nobody thought I was ready to be a mom but, being the rebel that I am, I said, “Watch me” and so I did. I cleaned up my act and he saved my life. Even though L.L.and I parted ways when Dillon was 2, I still feel I was (and am) so lucky to have an excellent father for my son. He is always involved, sent him to the best schools and Dillon was always surrounded by love, no matter which house he went to. Together I think we raised an amazing young man and an awesome human being.

Happy Birthday Dillon! You have always been such a joy to me and are so incredibly talented and funny. Continue to follow your dreams and work hard no matter how hopeless it may seem at times. I wish you all the best for your special day and hope all of your dreams come true. Happy birthday Bubaloo! I love you heaps and tons!

Love always,

Your Mamacita

xoxox 🙂

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