I lay on the couch cradling Bud in my arms, sick with fever and chills. He slept fitfully, snorting and grunting every couple of minutes as he drifted in and out. It was actually kid of poetic, I thought. Wednesday was his 5th birthday, and there I was holding him in the same fashion, although he is a much bigger child now, as I did the day he was born.
I never wanted to be the mom who brought up the child’s birth story on their birthday, reminiscing “5 years ago today….” But there I was, doing it. 5 years ago, as much as we all tried, you just did not want to come out. 5 years ago, finally, there you were, my firstborn, in my arms, so brand new, but also there as if you belonged; had always been there. 5 years ago you began teaching me how to be a mom, and you still teach me something every day.
Birthdays are always sort of happy/sad occasions for me. It’s a joy to see them grow and gradually turn in to what will someday be their grown-up self. At the same time though, I long for my babies to stay babies, for them not to be so big that I can’t hold them in my arms. Yet birthdays are a reminder that it is not to be.
I haven’t made it through singing Happy Birthday to any of my children without crying. I can’t say that I ever will.