Nathan Charles Ernste was born on June 27th, 1978, at Methodist Hospital in Rochester, MN. The doctor had it all planned from the start. His early tests had proven that the pregancy had started in September, 1977, and therefore Nate would be born in May. Also based on Mom's previous delivery information, the baby must not weigh more than nine pounds. As for the delivery itself, this doctor had just invented a new device and assured us everything would go very smoothly. Well, as it turned out, there were flaws in the doctor's plan.

As the month of May came and left, there was still no new baby. Checkups were weekly in May and June, and everything seemed fine! Grandma came to be with her daughter in the first week of June to help take care of the new baby once he was home. But after a week of inactivity, she followed her "dirty socks" philosophy and returned home again. Finally on the morning of June 27th, Mom decided it was time. We rushed to the hospital, and indeed, the doctor told us that "today will be the day". Then more complications: the baby was turned wrong, he was bigger than nine pounds, and that smooth delivery turned out to be an emergency C-Section that completed at 7:10PM on the evening of June 27th. Mom and Dad were fine; just a little confused, concerned, and upset by all that had happened that day. And Nate...wow! A handsome 9 lb. 10 oz. boy with a lot of blond hair. He was perfect!

And he was a good baby too. His sister and brothers thought he was special. Colleen, who had just turned 8 years old, saw Nate as her doll; and Kevin called him "Nathan Good-boy". Tom, still only 2 ½, was probably a little jealous that someone else was getting the attention. As Nate got a couple years older, two traits about him stood out. First of all, there was that blond hair, long, curly and beautiful. Secondly it was Nate's demeanor... very cheerful, but rather defiant. He did things his own way regardless of what Dad said, and was frequently in trouble. At 3 years of age, he thought he was going to go with Tom on that first day of school. I gave him the nickname, Fracas, for obvious reasons. In retrospect the first 3 years of Nate's life were his happiest!