Posts tagged ‘birthdays’

June 15, 2013

everything but the girl

a number of my eldest son’s friends are turning 5 lately and he, overhearing conversations about kindergarten, observing my friends emote at the significance, and intuiting the maturation around him, is well aware that this birthday is not like the others; that it is distinctive, that milestones abound.

not surprisingly, he has begun to look at his own (one day) 5th birthday with idealized regard and now reconciles everything that he covets but that is out of reach- special events, activities, freedoms, repeat opportunities to go on excursions via plane- by saying, albeit unconvincingly, “maybe when i’m five”.

despite the tentative tone, it works and he has somehow been able to manage his lofty expectations with this simple reminder, however inaccurate. unfortunately (for me) his regular wantedness, his daily basis neediness, continues to know no bounds and he starts many common sentences with a demanding: “i want”.

i was washing dishes this morning, early, already feeling desperate after a week of him sick and our life therefore tabled, multiple days restricted to the four walls of our home, when he started in at me: all the things he wanted, how he wanted them done. his father is away, mourning  the life of a relative, and, therefore, it doesn’t matter that it’s saturday. it’s just me here. here with them; their requests.

i didn’t reply, which had no impact on his behaviour but assisted me to feel somewhat grounded, empowered even- such a subtle act of resistance.

not one to back down, he persisted. baby, teething, made his gentle way in to the kitchen from where he played near by. “mum mum mum” he muttered, approaching where i stood, signaling he too had a desire for me to provide any number of things: milk, attention, comfort, entertainment, reprieve.

i found myself looking up at the ceiling and was confronted by it’s unglamourous, entry level appearance- not helpful- and thought briefly of shaking the clawing paws off my ankles, brushing past the talking machine, and making my exit: down the stairs and out the front door, away from all that is expected of me, complete with my yet untouched morning coffee.

instead, i found myself doing what i recall having witnessed my mother do, and with closed eyes, pursed lips, and taught breath, i hush-growled to the white roof: “lord, give me strength”- more of a threat then a prayer.

when i opened my eyes, i hadn’t yet found the courage to turn to my eldest but i bent to retrieve baby, moaning now, and was impressed with just how quickly he settled once stationed on my left hip. so simple, so primary, so generous in his acceptance of what is.

i heard myself think, and then say “we can’t have everything that we want”, mostly in effort to remind myself of the same, it would seem.

“but, look at me momma! i want you to look at me! watch me momma! do you see me?”. it seemed as though my statement was mistaken for participation and he was encouraged…

“do you see me?”, i replied in all seriousness, turning to him, finally. he looked confused. “do you?” i implored.

“of course i do mamma, don’t be silly”, he offered, confused.

the question was lost on him.

he can’t see my master’s degree, begging for completion. he doesn’t see my muscles, screaming for a run. he doesn’t see my brain, dehydrated, thirsty for adult company, conversation, camaraderie. he doesn’t see my skin, itchy for lack of sleep. he doesn’t know the sacrifices that i make and what goes undone on my own list of wants so that he and his brother, both beyond deserving, can have a life complete. he sees his mother, and she’s pretty great, but he just doesn’t see me.

maybe when he’s five?

November 13, 2012


you turned three this past weekend. it’s been busy the last month, with the arrival of your brother and our world multiplying in joy and chaos and all, and i have not been able to give writing much room so, your little love letter is late.

this said, little man, i have reflected upon your birth frequently this past month and what it meant to me, us, and life in general and you can rest assured that you occupy more room in my consciousness then is probably healthy.

moo, i am no longer able to say that the day of your birth was the happiest, or the best, day of my life (rumour has it siblings don’t like that) but i can still say it was the most significant. bringing in your life was so profound and so transformative that my timeline will forever be marked by this turning point day, or night, as it were: before motherhood and since.

in the moment you were real you gave me more than i ever could have asked for and, most treasured, you gave me the gift of you. i will never forget the drama of your signals to come, the travels in fiction like conditions to all that was unknown, the way you contorted by body into a primal being, the tenderness of your scalp as you made your exit, reaching to grasp the birth of you, or the feeling of your slippery and warm body on my exhausted chest. i will never take for granted your alerting cries, the opportunity we had to lock eyes within seconds of meeting, or what magic it was when you suckled at me for more life once yours had begun.

happiest of birthdays my love. i celebrate you, as every day, but even more than usual this month. watching you become your curious little self has been an honour and a privilege. i hope you think we are doing right by you.

adoringly, your mother.

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October 19, 2012

simple thanks

after a ferocious labor, we found our groove and, with much effort, you entered this world- welcomed by a song of sounds that i didn’t know i was capable of making and the delighted tears of your father and grandmother.

your big brother was at home sleeping safely under the caring watch of your grandfather, them both dreaming, i’m sure, of who you were and when we could meet you and have you join our lives.

you arrived my son and, instantly, our family was complete.

thank you for choosing us, sweet boy, we are so in love with all that you are.

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November 8, 2010


soon, my son will be one. real soon. a whole year he has been alive in this world and a whole year my heart has been captured, enraptured,  and disastered by my immense love for him.

a year! in many cultures, historically more so, the first birthday is when children are named- they have survived, they have  proven resilient and their lives, official now that the year has been overcome, are for real and are now safe to be acknowledged in this world. alive and thriving they are held up and celebrated without caution for the spirits and evils and illnesses and risks didn’t win and were less likely to now that a year had been graduated.

he will be one… this means so many things but the simple fact that he became real one year ago and that i was then born a mother resonates loudest to me. i’ve always wanted to be a mother, since i can remember really, and even when my mind wasn’t so inclined my body was still- i always felt an echo where my child was going to be and had a curiosity about the power of my body, unused. it’s beyond me why this tide was stronger then reason but it was and seemed to almost always have been.

the pregnant form has always delighted me. it’s just so real, so raw, so powerful, and i have always been moved by the magnitude of it. the roundness of a ripe belly is about as beautiful as anything… so simple and so basic  yet so incomprehensible somehow. i mean, are you serious? pregnant women walk around, living their lives, but they are carrying a whole little life around with them. a whole little person is being grown in those bellies. i’m still awestruck by the whole thing … it humbles me. it’s so much bigger then i don’t know what and a responsibility and a gift so much greater then most everything else.

as it happened in our story, the ache to meet my baby got so strong there was no reason left to not let the future come to us and, before we had a chance to question our readiness, i became pregnant. our baby found me and i became one of those women i’d always (impolitely) stared at.

i loved being pregnant. infact, i never felt more at home in my skin. i felt so honoured to be holding his life,  i loved knowing he was becoming his awesome little self inside me where no one could see, not even me, and that i had the capacity to share all the love i’d been toting with me in anticipation of him- it felt so time to have a place to direct all the hope of him- and i never took lightly that everything i did, or didn’t do, was now shared. feeling him move in me was, and still is, beyond words and then watching my body become someone else’s… so bizzare. i remember stepping out the shower one day, tentatively, clumsily, and, seeing myself in the mirror asking ‘who’s body is this?’. my husband didn’t answer but i knew, it was far too changed to have been mine, or his wife’s for that matter. it was my baby’s mother’s body.

and, not long after, my body complete with him, he was born… he came stubbornly, intensely, dramatically, beautifully. i made him with my body, housed him and nurtured him, and then birthed him into this great big world. all of a sudden he was no longer fiction. he was real and there we were- me, never happier, him, asleep on my skin, and my angel husband, just glowing . it only took 40 weeks of him inside and 24 hours of him trying to be freed and we became one small blissed out little family unit.

a year ago he was but a little bird in my arms- red, wrinkled, fragile, and so awkward in his transition to the living. a year ago the big guy was beaming in pride.  a year ago, i was so godsmacked about the amazing responsibility of loving and caring for his vulnerable little soul. now, he’s not so little or passive or awkward. now, he really is here. he reaches for my hand, and walks awkwardly beside me like a little boy. he laughs spontaneously when humour strikes him. he dances, a lot. he makes his little perfect body over to me and gives me kisses, lots of them, like how i shower him with kisses- like there could never be enough.

and really, there will never be enough ways to honour him or to show him love. happiest first birthday my little moo. cheers to the life we gave you and to the life you’ve given us.