Birthdays are special, obviously to the person who celebrates them. A person will (hopefully) have many birthdays in their lifetime. Some will be forgotten, some will most definitely be memorable. Some will be looked forward to, others will be dreaded (did I mention I'm turning 30 next month? Ugh). Some may be sad but most will be joyous events.
But as special a birthday is to any one person, and it is special as it is the day they joined this earth, I now believe that it is that much more special to the parents, and in particular, the mothers.
I can't remember every single one of my birthdays, and I probably don't care to do so, but I will never ever forget how I felt the day my children were born. There are so many memories and emotions that come flooding back whenever one of my son's birthdays approaches. He will never remember that day, but I will never forget it. The pregnancy, the excitement during the days leading up to his birth, and then the day our lives changed forever. It all replays in my head over and over.
With every passing birthday we exclaim, "How has it been __ years already?" and "I can't believe you are __ years old!". Each year I am no less surprised. I will still feel that way every year, the feelings will never change. Another year older, another year of disbelief that it has all happened so quickly, and they are growing so fast.
Tristan is 3 years old today. On his birthday we arrived nervous and excitement at St. Joseph's Hospital in Toronto, not sure what the day would bring. Would they be able to turn him and we could have a natural birth? Or would he refuse to budge and we would have a c-section? I remember the waiting, the walk to the OR. I remember the epidural, and feeling nauseous on the operating table. I remember the version not working, and being prepped for surgery. I remember how fast it went, and soon he was out and crying, and he was perfect. I remember it all like it was yesterday, and now he is 3.
He is smart and funny, kind and compassionate. He sleeps well, mostly eats well, and doesn't talk back. He is a true angel child. And he is 3. He is quirky and funny and makes every day amazing. Today he is 3, tomorrow he will be 30, and I will be no less amazed.
For the Big Guy's birthday weekend, we tried to make it about spending time with him and with family. No big party, no wrapped boxes or bags filled with tissue. We took him to the park so he could play with his friends. We invited all the grandparents, aunts and uncles to spend time with him. We let it be his weekend, free to have fun and enjoy the attention.
Of course he did get spoiled! From Auntie Rachael and Uncle Scott he got his very own artist's easel and smocks, and from Grandma and Papa John he got some paints and chalks to use on it. Maybe he will be an artist like Auntie Rachael. From Grandpa Tony he got an amazing play kitchen set with some food and a shopping cart, a definite hit with both boys. Grandma Kathy took him shopping for some new school clothes and shoes, and bought him a Cars backpack for school which he wore all day long. What a lucky guy! From Mommy, Daddy and F he got a really cool rain jacket to wear to school on rainy days.
Today we have to remember to measure him on the doorstop to see how much he's grown. I'm sure he is much taller than last time, but I know he has also grown in strength and character. He is a charming little boy.
And so, it is a bittersweet day for this Mommy. So happy that my Big Guy is growing up, but so sad at the same time at how fast it is happening.
My birthdays, they come and go (from this point I'd rather not see them come anymore!). But these boys' birthdays, they are truly special to me.
More about my pregnancy with Tristan and his birth can be found here.