Tomorrow my boy turns fourteen. The day will be his with birthday balloons, a cake aglow with candles, and packages wrapped to hide his favorite things. But today, the day before, is mine. My birth day.
Tonight I sit in my darkened office, the light of the computer the only thing illuminating the space around me and I am tucked in with my memories of the day before his birth, the day my body tapped me not so gently on the uterus and said, “Now is the time.” I sit in this same emotional space every year on the day before my boys’ birthdays, in my own quiet celebration and contemplation of those minutes and hours that ushered me through the threshold of motherhood. I like to pause and think about how it all started and my blessed role in it. You moms will know what I mean, whether your journey came through birth or adoption. Think back.
On this day, I drink in the remembered anticipation of imminent birth and finally meeting this little person I knew intimately after nine months together, but had never seen. I think back to a Friday night and its laid back summer vibe, with music playing and a full belly from a meal that seemed to satiate me in a greater way than usual. Both times I had exhaled the week behind me and relaxed into the weekend. Everything felt like it was just right. And it must have been because both times my babies decided that was the perfect time to enter the world.
I look back at my experience as I prepared to be the portal for new life. The awe of being God’s cohort in creation. The fear of labor. The excitement of a new baby. The wonderment of a boy or a girl. The hope and prayer that this little one would be whole and healthy. I remember the exact time things happened along the way on my journey that led to his journey. And in this moment of my own quiet, private celebration, I am grateful, not only for the marking of another year with this beautiful boy, but also the privilege of my own birth into motherhood.
Because for all of us moms, the birth (or arrival by other means) of our little ones is our birth, too, into a new and wonderful place in this world. And that is certainly something to celebrate.
Happy birth day, I wish myself as I turn out the lights and tip toe to bed in this quiet house. And happy birthday, Jason. I love you more than all the words in the world can express.
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