The Birth Certificate Fiasco

English: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to...Mary loved being in the hospital to give birth, and if she hadn’t been required to take home a tiny helpless infant when she left, I think she would have planned to stay in the hospital as often as possible.

In the era of Mary’s child-bearing years, women stayed in the hospital post-delivery for ten days and they stayed in bed for most of that time. This was right up my mother’s alley.  Being cared for by caring people–ones who could take away your baby any time you wanted—was her idea of heaven.  I was cared for so often by the nurses that two of them cried when I left the nursery.

Since Mary was on this marvelous vacation from responsibility, she certainly didn’t want to be troubled to proofread either of her children’s birth certificates.  Mine had only a minor error, one we laughed about for years. But Lindy’s had a major mistake.

Because I was the first child, my mother enjoyed the novelty of filling out a baby book.  She pasted in cards, wrote a few things about my first birthday, and placed my birth certificate in it once they mailed it to her.

Lindy had a baby book with almost nothing in it, and when her birth certificate came, it was probably placed  on top of the junk mail and then thrown out with the trash. At last Lindy decided she should check hers since unlike me she did not have a copy of her birth certificate.

She contacted the people at the Social Security office and was told they could not talk to her since there was no Lindy Riverside paying into the Social Security program.  Lindy didn’t know what to do.  She finally contacted a kind man who said he would reveal the first name on her account.  It was Lindberg rather than Lindy.

Lindy asked my mother about it. Mother, of course, said that the people who filled out the birth certificate were responsible for the error:

I had been talking about how much I liked Charles Lindbergh, and I guess they just put down Lindbergh instead of Lindy.  You know they called him Lucky Lindy and that’s who you were named after.

Lindy had to go through a legal change of name since she was totally unaware of her original birth name. President Obama wasn’t the only one with birth certificate problems.

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