Tomorrow is our eldest daughter’s birthday. She’s so excited.
However, with that excitement has come a lot of frustration and anxiety these past few weeks as well. What is it about birthdays or other special occasions that chuck us out of a feeling good space, when in fact they are suppose to be the other way around?
She’s a smart girl and over the last couple of days she’s looked at me and told me “I know I’m anxious about my birthday, so I need to distract myself.” What followed was movies and computer games. Not really jiving material, albeit distraction.
Of course, she was right, distraction is always the best route when something is stressing you out or chucking you out of feeling good. However, I tried to tell her, distract with appreciation and all will flow well.
But, no matter what, a child’s birthday is a bit of a fork in the road. I can sit here, and chuck myself out of my feeling good place, and get stressed at the idea of whether we made enough cupcakes for her swimming class or not, I can wonder if we bought her the right present and if she has seen it, or I can do as she’s done, distract myself, only take my own advice, and appreciate myself through the day. What better way than to appreciate the birthday girl herself.
I love the fact that she is grown up enough to take part in normal conversations and that her opinion counts, I love how she makes strong decisions, I love how strong-minded she is and how no one can tell her what to do, I love how she observes how she feels and knows when she needs quiet, I love how she is tall like her dad, and looks like me, I love how she dances, and how she sings, I love to see her in a flexible position reading, I loved to watch her talk the classics to her amazed grandmother and the fact that she’ll then turn around to watch preschool television shows, because she likes them.
I remember when she was born that tiny little bundle of pure positive energy, with her fingers so small her skin seemed too big for them. She was so sensitive that she refused to go back to her bed after they did the healprick test to her there. She slept in our arms, alternating between mine and my husband’s. I was in awe of motherhood and didn’t know what to expect. Yet she made it easy.
I love birthdays of our children. Sure I could focus on the spin it sends them through on the expectation and the almost lining up for disappointment, on the jealousy of siblings or the chaos. But my favourite thing to do on one of their birthdays, is to appreciate them and to remember them as Who They Are. I always take one of our children’s birthdays as a celebration for myself too, of where we’ve come together. It passes so quickly, through different phases.
Our son is just heading out of the stage where he needed me as The Provider, he’s now becoming the little explorer. But I know our eldest is heading from Little Girl to Big Girl. It now seems that Little Girl or Boy stage is the only time you have to set up the tools that matter. Already she seems to be using them and being in situations to use them rather than run to us for advice. It all passed so fast.
But she is doing exceptionally well. I guess we have 10 years at least, to stand by as she tries out her tools and maybe comes back to us for sharpening.
What a blissful rollercoaster ride it is.
Happy Birthday our first Baby.