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September 23, 2018

I forgot myself on my birthday

I forgot myself on my birthday
I forgot myself on my birthday

Last Sunday was my 38th birthday. I have never had a problem telling people my age but this year it finally started to feel large enough to warrant hiding. This might be the end of my candor on this subject – 38 years, whew! That’s plenty.

For years I have taken a mini break around my birthday. It has been a great opportunity to assess my past and try to configure the year ahead. Most of these breaks have been at the coast but some have simply involved pen and paper in a quiet place.

This year I won’t lie, I forgot myself. I forgot to plan anything for the day. I share this day with my sister who is eight years younger, so I told myself it was more her birthday than mine as she turned 30, but the truth is I simply forgot myself. What a weird thing to say. I told another mother this and she glibly said "welcome to motherhood".

She isn’t wrong. In the weeks leading up to my birthday, I was planning my son’s dedication, which happened on the 30th. In the last week, I have been prepping for his first meal. Reading some research on weaning, getting him utensils, new bibs… wondering what his first meal will consist of… My mother who has had front row and centre seats to this process is tickled pink, and mildly irritated. She reminded me that while my son is special, he really isn’t that special and his digestive tract will hopefully work well and generically.

So the highlight of my birthday was feeding my son a blend of pumpkin and bone soup. If you do not have children you might think he ate a bowl full, but you are wrong. He ate a couple of mouthfuls, turned the whole thing into a game and started blowing the food out of his mouth and into my face. I laughed uproariously which of course just egged him on and soon we were both giggling and covered in pumpkin. Too cute. We then climbed into my bed, he napped and I watched movies.

It was the perfect birthday spent with my favourite person and we hit a major milestone. Last year I had told myself that I would have a Grey Goose Martini on my birthday and it seemed like something worth looking forward to. A thoughtful friend called and offered me this but I was barely tempted. Don’t get me wrong, the martini was had, it just happened on Tuesday. That Martini marked the final goodbye to my life as I knew it. If you have been reading consistently you might have noticed that I have been mourning my previous life, even as I have been ecstatic about becoming a mother. Sometimes what we dream about and pray for is challenging to receive.

It has taken about six months to settle in to this new phase and new identity but I finally feel relaxed in it… I am Mama Udi.

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