Summer, for me, is the pinnacle of the year. Whether this is due to my birthday being in July, or whether this is simply the manner in which my brain categorizes the year, I’m unsure. Each season is full of its own beauty and wonder and I appreciate them all (except, possibly, the wind in the spring, which I could live without; but I suspect it is vital to many aspects of this region.).
Summer, though…summer is it. The scent of chlorine saturated towels and sunscreen, the sound of flip flops and the buzzing of bees. The flowers waving in light breezes, and the coolness of the evening as the sun slowly disappears behind the mountains…these things satiate my summer satisfaction.
Six years ago today, my first baby was born—without pain blockers, medical interventions, or being taken away to be placed in some plastic container down the hall. Having kept several people awake all night long, I was left on my own with my new baby while everyone else went home to sleep. I, however, was buzzing with energy, despite my 31-hour marathon. Additionally, I felt about as motherly as an acorn lying in the dirt—what was I supposed to be doing? Thinking? Saying? Singing? I wasn’t quite sure. And nothing miraculously came into play once I was an actual Mom, and not just another pregnant lady. The motherly instincts didn’t suddenly come “on-line” like my satellite TV did once hooked up.
I was amazed, however, at how remarkably beautiful this teensy-tiny baby looked, at how long her fingernails were, and that she had not one, but two sets of dimples on each tiny cheek. I did feel remarkably better to have space around my abdominal organs, and I certainly knew that it felt great to finally be done being pregnant. I guessed that I would be able to figure most things about being a parent out, and that whatever I couldn’t, there would be books, other mamas, and grandmas to consult with.
Looking down on that remarkably perfect little face, I really didn’t know how I would change in the future. None of us can forsee the future anyway, whether we are parents or not. I had adamantly said that becoming a Mom wouldn’t change my lifestyle or interests, and for that most part that has been true. I did not, however, expect the deep realization that comes with knowing that should something happen to me, I would certainly decide to become a ghost so that I might have some influence on my kids’ day to day lives.
Reflecting back a short six years ago, I certainly never anticipated how much more motivation I would have to pursue my own interests, while nurturing the interests of my little ones. I didn’t realize that kids can be so remarkably goofy without anyone teaching them how to be, and that they come up with creative ways to say things through nothing more than their own working brain. My favorite? “I have a monster in my foot,” is what this oldest one says when her foot falls asleep. Who would’ve guessed?
Birthdays are special days for most people. A time to reflect on the past and to hope for the future. Perhaps a time to receive a welcomed gift, or to splurge a little on oneself. When I think back on the day that I brought this particular child out onto the planet, I am in awe of the magic of a growing and developing life. SO much to look forward to, and so many potential possibilities!
Happy Birthday, Honey Bee!!