By the time most of you are reading this, my daughter will be four. Four. In a lot of ways it totally feels like it’s been four years since I’ve known her, if not longer (those of you with daughters know exactly what I mean by that) but then in a lot of other ways it’s just so hard to imagine. I look back on old photos of her and I don’t even recognize the face looking back at me.
My pregnancy with my daughter wasn’t awesome. It was my second one, my final one. I didn’t glow, I didn’t feel magical or strong…I felt weird and tired and weak. And it feels like that was a different person going through all of that now.
But it was me.
It happened, she happened, and she’s now turning 4.
In the past, my kid’s birthday posts have always been tear jerkers- filled with old photos and words about all the beautiful parts of raising a child. They’re all nice to look back on, I know my husband and I still do from time to time. But I’m taking a different approach this year. And it has nothing to do with my little girl- she’s still awesome and beautiful and super rad. It has everything to do with my week. My dumb damn week. My week began with the roofers coming early (so so early) on the first school day of the daylight savings time adjustment (Argggh) and therefore waking everyone in the house up- including my daughter, who never sleeps in.
So I was kicked out of my house due to the noise said roofers were making, hoping to find a peaceful spot to begin writing this here birthday post…hoping it to be as eloquent and awesome as my past birthday posts. I went to my local coffee shop- a quaint spot with outdoor seating. It would be perfect on this slightly chilly day in March. I had on jeans, boots and a leather jacket- perfect for the outdoor writing weather. I was gonna put on my glasses and drink my coffee and write my eloquent story outdoors. So very poetic.
Guess what was happening outside of the quaint coffee shop? Construction. A bunch of loud tools drilling and digging things. AND the wifi wasn’t working. So… I spent the two hours of allotted writing time responding to people’s comments on my Instagram account while I waited for photos to upload onto this post (they never did).
So I returned home with an even bigger headache than when I left, a major coffee buzz and nowhere to put it, and the beginnings of another round of stomach flu and sinus infection. The days that followed were pretty much more of that. But my baby girl’s birthday is tomorrow (or today now that you’re reading this) and it’s a big deal. I know it is. Of course I’m excited about it, she’s incredibly excited about it, but I am just dog tired. So here we are. And here we go.
When you’re a child, birthdays are the most important thing to you- they’re so exciting and fun. It’s all about you and what you want to do and what you’re gonna get. It’s amazing. Birthdays were always made incredibly special in my house. My mother won the game of birthdays. She dominated that field. She rocked. We always felt super special on our birthdays. (Thanks, mom!) But then you become a mother yourself and all of that changes. Like everything else, once you’re a mom your priorities shift and it’s no longer about you and what you want. And so the meaning of your child’s birthday changes as well…
Let’s think about this for a second- why are we celebrating and doting on the birthed? What did they do on this day?
They just appeared.
They literally just showed up breathing with no effort on their part whatsoever.
You know who needs that day? The moms. We did all the work! THEY WERE INSIDE OF OUR BODIES UNTIL WE PUSHED THEM OUT OF IT. You know how incredible that is? I mean…who does that? WE do. Moms. We’re the ones who need a party and cake and presents and a big ole smack on the back for doing damn hard work. It’s called BIRTHday. WE BIRTHED!!!! It’s not called SHOWUP day.
And this doesn’t cross our minds until we become a mom ourselves. It never even occurred to me to think of my mother on my birthday and everything she went through to push me into this world. It honestly never did.
But then, of course…we have our children. The greatest gift of all, right? Our beautiful children who we love and cherish and would do anything for. And we want to make them happy. We want to give them a party and presents and congratulate them for just being here. For just appearing because we made it so. And we suddenly forget all the pain we went through to make the day occur.
And that right there is what it’s like being a mom, isn’t it? We blindly give and love and then thoroughly enjoy watching our children light up when we do. It’s just one of the perks of the job. Tiny laughs and little smiles reminding us that we really don’t need a thing but them.
But I would totally still accept a party and a cake and presents. I’m no idiot.