I was born out of wedlock.
That kind of makes me a bastard.
Some have called me that and I guess they knew more about my life than I ever did.
I learned of the infamous fact after signing up for Ancestry.com and got the history of my parents. Mom was born in New Jersey and dad in Greece. I had assumed they were married when I was born because my pop – of the Greek Orthodox faith – swore on a stack of Bibles to raise me Catholic. The priest at the German parish in North Philadelphia would not perform the wedding until he capitulated.
Well, that was some time after I was born. Try a full year after the moment that I was born!
I had no idea of my birth status until learning that I was conceived in an illicit affair.
Not only that, but my two older brothers were also bastards. My parents hadn’t tied the knot until the baby of the family was about to speak and walk on God’s green earth.
I thought it would shock me more than it did. I mean, I was raised Catholic and knew of the sins of the flesh. Most guys routinely violated that commandment when growing up .
But “living in sin” was something entirely different. My own parents of whom I was raised to respect and see as godly had not been married at the time of my conception.
I was formed in an unholy union.
Never mind that I lived with my second wife for several months before we were married. Or that I married my first wife only after my mother refused to let the girlfriend I brought to Philadelphia from Louisiana sleep under her roof until we were hitched. That was me, a child growing up in the Rebellious 1960s.
I’m talking about my parents though. They were supposed to better than me, weren’t they? I looked up to them and now I see that they were as human as I was. As human as my son who is about to become a father with a woman with whom he is not married.
Somehow I don’t feel so bad looking at the whole “born out of wedlock” thing now. We did what came naturally after falling in love. It is as true today as it was in the days of the unwed parents of that old Christian Bible Adam and Eve.