Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Mother's and father's day

Each child's birthday is special to us, no doubt. But today is not just our son's fourth birthday. It's the day my husband and I became parents for the very first time. I now understand my mother's annual threat to call me on my birthday at the exact time I was born, which was 4:29 a.m. It's an anniversary for us, too. It's our own personal mother's and father's day.
Every mom I know has a shot like this ...

Four years ago, after our third trip to the birth center in 40 hours of labor, Daniel James was born. I arrived in nothing but a bathrobe and some slip on shoes on an unseasonably warm night and birthed our son, who promptly pooped on my leg, at 9:01 p.m. His labor was one wild  ride and so it has been ever since.

Birthdays give me the chance to look at the whole of my son instead of the daily, often exasperating snapshots of the willful child he's become.

A lot has happened in four short years.

He's learned to walk and talk, feed and dress himself, and use the bathroom (most of the time).

He's become a big brother. Twice.

He's made friends quickly and easily. He's collected and lost more Matchbox cars than I can count. He's driven his dump truck about a hundred miles through yard. He's eaten an orchard full of apples, his favorite food, most likely because it is his favorite color, red. He's gone off to preschool and learned how to negotiate his new world without his mommy. He has a large family of stuffed animals that he cares for with the gentleness and consideration that I wish he would show his little sister.

I'm starting to see his personality emerge. He's actually quite a bit like his father. He notices right away when something is broken or not level or is just not quite right and insists that it be fixed. He questions everything, has his own ideas about how to do things and is persistent. All qualities that will serve him well in life but drive his parents crazy.

The weather yesterday and today is strikingly similar to that day and night and day and night four years ago when I was in labor with him. Our neighbors in the cul-de-sac across the street have their kitschy, plastic lighted manger outthe same one we passed on our walks while I was in labor. That day four years ago, I remember sitting on a  hammock, feet on the ground, rocking through the early contractions which my brother Timmy helped time. Yesterday afternoon, Danny and I hung out in that hammock, in that same position, rocking back and forth and flipping ourselves into the leaves. He dissolved into hysterical giggles as he sunk beneath the leaves.

Happy Birthday, Danny boy.

No comments: