Isn't it funny how your perception of birthdays changes when you become a parent? As children, we are offten rather narcissistic about our birthdays. We are made to feel as if the world revolves around us. It can be a little dismaying when we enter the real world and find out it doesn't.
I made over both my children on their birthdays, just as my folks did with me. For me, my children's birthdays are a time of poignant reflection. Today, my baby turned twenty-five. She is one quarter of a century old. Though twenty-five years have gone by, I can remember her birth, and the events leading up to it, as if it happened yesterday. I can barely remember the names of people I knew or worked with back then, but the memory of the day I was blessed with my beautiful baby girl is of utmost clarity.
One part of her birth day, I don't remember, as I was off sleeping off the trauma of childbirth. I've heard it told many times by my mom, though. The entire family was in the waiting room. My late husband was Italian. If you know Italians (or are one), you'll know they tend to be very close knit as a family. John was one of five siblings. His folks and siblings (and some of their spouses) were all in the waiting room, along with my mom and dad, my then 8 year old son, and my 11 year old nephew. I'm sure the waiting room was packed.
John was in the delivery room with me. After Nikki was born and had been cleaned up, and all the necessary data taken, John was pointed to a rocker in a nearby room to sit and bond with his new baby. According to my mom, it was two hours after the birth before he let the rest of the family know she'd been born. He sat in that room rocking her, holding her close. Yes, my mom has been known to exaggerate a tad, and I figure she was then, though to this day, she claims it to be true. The rest of them don't remember. ;-Þ
The bottom line is, he did stay in there with her for a long period of time. I often thought after his death that it was as if he had some uncanny sense that he needed to make the most of every minute with her.
Another memory of that day is shared by my son every year on his sister's birthday. He still remembers his Pappa telling him and his cousin to turn off the tv so they could go to the hospital, as he was about to get a baby sister. He resented not getting to watch the rest of that Three Stooges episode!
One last memory was about my son. I've shared it with my husband now, and he still cracks up everytime it's brought up, since he knows my son's personality so well. It was the day we came home from the hospital. It had been a long and grueling day, as people came out of the woodwork to come see our new baby. We were tired and ready for bed, but Nikki commenced to crying. I'd nursed her, changed her, and rocked her to no avail. I was about to the point of joining her and having a good crying jag myself. My son, also John, walked up to the crying baby, patted her little face, and said in the softest, sweetest little singsong voice, "now, shut up". It was priceless! He still tells her that today, when she's chattering a mile a minute, though not quite so sweetly as he did that day.
Happy 25th birthday, my sweet little Nikki!
Don't you see that children are God's best gift? The fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior's fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don't stand a chance against you; you'll sweep them right off your doorstep.
~Psalm 127:3 The Message