The penultimate thing I love about February is today -my son’s birthday. It’s nearly impossible to imagine that 30 years have gone by since the morning I awoke a naive 23 -year old and went to bed 14 hours later a mother.
Becoming a mother isn’t just about giving birth or changing diapers or toilet training or packing lunches or helping with homework or tying neckties or furnishing the dorm room or making the list for wedding invitations. It’s about loving someone more than you’ve ever loved anything on earth, about being willing to throw down the gauntlet before anyone or anything who might hurt them, about putting aside all your own fears and misgivings to support their hopes and dreams. It’s about turning your life upside down every single day if you have to for the rest of your life.
But it’s also about feeling the deepest love and the most wonderful pride, it’s about laughing the hardest you’ve ever laughed, and crying the most you’ve ever cried. It’s about a heart that bursts with joy one minute and pain the next. It’s about life in all its miraculous glory and deepest despair.
In short – it’s amazing.
I was a young and stupid mother, wasn’t prepared in any way, shape, or form to take on the responsibility of a child. I was nothing like most young women today, who plan their pregnancy and childbirth to the hilt, who research all the latest gadgets and gizmo’s, who arrange playdates and choose pre-schools before the ink on the birth certificate is even dry. I didn’t “register” for baby gifts, didn’t interview my obstetrician, didn’t choose environmentally friendly or safe substances for the nursery linens.
But in spite of my ignorance, he grew- physically and mentally. He was strong and healthy and smart and amazingly beautiful, with clear blue eyes and a stunning ability to think and create and imagine.
Thirty years later, he’s all that and more.
So I count today as the love-li-est of all February days. I wish I had been better prepared, had been smarter, stronger. I still wish for wisdom I don’t always have to give. But I’m more thankful than I can say for the end result, and for all the days in between.
Happy Birthday to my love-ly boy.