It's my daughter's birthday.
A birthday is a day to stand in the the spotlight, eat too much, open presents and have a celebratory fuss be made over you. That's as it should be. But there's at least one other person who was/is quite personally involved in your birthday, standing in the shadows and often arranging some of the fuss -- your mom.
I never considered what went through my mother's mind as I clocked additional years, and I never thought to ask her. Now standing in her shoes I can guess how she felt (old, for one thing!) but I'll never really know what my birthday meant to her.
But I have a blog and a day off work, and have been thinking about my daughter's birthday since 7:06 -- the moment 33 years ago she entered the world and my life changed forever -- this morning. So I have an opportunity to share my thoughts about what my firstborn's birthday means to me.
It means that the end of summer with its cooling temperatures, bright blue skies and shortening hours of daylight will always signal new beginnings to me. It will always transport me to the little blue Datsun that sped me to the hospital in that magical hour of not-quite-light before the sun comes up. It means I'll forever hear my husband's voice admonishing, "settle down, you've got hours to go," as I struggled to breathe through a contraction.
For the record, we were actually only about 30 minutes away from the big moment, and my advice to about-to-be fathers everywhere is to choose your words more carefully than that....
It's ground zero for more memories than there's space -- even in the limitless world of cyberspace -- to convey. Let's just say it represents the birth of a new life for me as someone whose focus expanded to encompass another being whose welfare was, and is, and always will be, more important to me than my own.
And it's an opportunity to consider the amazing, intelligent, resourceful woman that little pink squawking bundle who entered the world at 7:06 a.m. Sept. 7, 1976, has become. And feel enormous pride that I played a part in introducing her to the world.
Happy birthday, Jen.
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