Birth Day Musings

Laurel's birthday was exactly the way her whole life has been so far...which is to say, what happened is not what I expected. We had planned a party. Nothing outrageous, but I imagined her playing with some of her baby friends, while us adults mingled over wine and seven-layer dip, and laughed about the funnier moments of the last year. We were going to bake pumpkin cupcakes. There would be a tasteful number of balloons and perhaps some party hats.

None of that happened, of course. Miss Sue called me in the middle of teaching a lesson on absolute value and subtracting positive and negative integers with the news that Laurel had a fever of 102.5. And it just keeps getting worse. Today it was 103.2. She's absolutely miserable. We bundled her up in the stroller and took her to toy store in Squirrel Hill so she could at least pick out her birthday present. She picked a set of maracas, by the way, despite M's efforts to get her to choose a set of fake wooden vegetables. She actually seemed to enjoy that and we hope that will become an annual birthday tradition. We took lots of naps during the rest of the day, and decided that we might try singing the birthday song tomorrow, because she was in no mood for it today.

It's going to be another long night.

In a way, it sort of sums up the past year. Sleepless nights, change in plans. Endless hours of rocking, bouncing, soothing. M said to me that he felt very sad about Laurel's birthday turning out this way. Disappointed. Even though she doesn't really know what a birthday is yet, much less that it's hers, it would still be nice to have the cake-smashing photos.

Despite all that, we spent a large part of the day enjoying time together, just the three of us. We looked at photos from the past year with Laurel, and explained what a birthday was, over and over. She showed off her walking skills and shook her new maracas with great enthusiasm.

In a way, it's my birthday, too. But motherhood was not something that happened to me suddenly on November 6, 2009. I eased into it during the course of the past year, and now it's a part of me that I'll never shed, no matter how old Laurel gets. Three words that sum up this past year? Patience. Stamina. Joy. I never knew I could sleep this little, and still wake up happily to a 6:00am tickle-fest.


Anonymous said...

Katy, I always called Grandma B on our birthdays to wish her a happy birthday also because I always felt like you, it was her birthday too! So happy birthday to you and Laurel Norine.
Lots of Love, Aunt DC

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping that the fever has subsided and that Laurel Norine and her parents are all getting much needed rest.

Happy one year anniversary of parenthood to Katy and Mark.

Love, aunt Mary