The Story Of The Pork Loin: Some Stories Are More Important To The Grown Ups

Every year, a group of friends and I get together to celebrate my friends' adorable daughter, who is now 6 years old. Our traditional birthday dinner for this little girl is pork loin. Yes, you read that correctly. Why? I'll explain. I know you're dying to find out.

One night in January, 6 years ago, we were gathered at another couple's house in Mt. Airy for a semi-regular dinner, and my friend served pork loin. We ate, told our respective teaching horror stories, and played with my friend's son who was only about a year old at that point. The soon to be mother of this now 6-year old was spending a lot of time in the restroom, but of course we weren't going to call attention to it. Finally, she came down the stairs and declared she had to go to the hospital. We were worried, since her baby was due in March.

I lived (and still live) quite close to their hospital, so they hastily said they would drop me off. This story has been fine-tuned over the years. Like my grandma always says, the mark of a good story is one that is never told the exact same way. So the original story is that they dropped me off nearby my house, stopping the car quickly so I could hop out. They had no time for extended goodbyes. When told for dramatic effect, my exit from the car looks something like this.

Anyways, I safely got home, went to bed, and woke up in the morning, expecting to hear an update about how my friend was fine, and maybe sick from eating so much pork. Instead, my friend's husband texted me, "Do you have a camera? I need you to bring it to the hospital. We had the baby." I was about to say this was the age before camera cell phones, but in reality this friend will never get a cell phone with a proper camera. That's another story for another time. I made my way over to the hospital, where my friend was mummified up in hospital white, and gave him the camera. This little girl had come two months early.

Well, they all lived happily ever after. It was rough at first, but the baby show came early is now a charming, funny and smart little six year old with an adorable younger brother who did in fact wait until his due date. Still, every year we celebrate with a pork loin. My friends' joke that the pork loin started the premature labor.

This year, I tried to tell the momentous story to this little girl as she struggled to get out of her daddy's lap, anxious to stop talking to the grown ups and play with her little brother. The grown ups at the table laughed, sighed and got a little misty-eyed at the story. It was a huge moment for our group of friends. My friends' child on the other hand, waited impatiently until I was done, and then wriggled out of the lap and started bouncing on the sofa on top of her brother. She's clearly not too invested in her story just yet. As far as she's concerned, none of his ever happened.

We joke that as she gets older, she'll ask, in an exasperated tone, "Why do we always have to have pork on my birthday?"