Tag Archives: Birthday

First There Were Two

We took this photo when there were two.

On a warm, July night, five years ago – when the sand burned the bottoms of my soles and the air smelled like salt and heat. I held my belly between the palms of my hands and felt the tangle of limbs kicking within. Two boys tumbled and rolled and life collided with possibility and promise.

And then, the waves rose and the sandcastles crumbled and the world which I had so tenderly held disappeared.

We took this photo when there were two.

Before we knew the babies were sick.

Before the rush of blood from one to the other.

Before his heart stopped.

Before the world changed.

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Feeling 26

I don’t do good with birthdays.

Never have. Probably never will.

My parents like to tell stories about my childhood birthdays: stories about how each and every one of my parties ended with me as an absolute wreck, tears galore. I’m pretty sure that’s why they stopped hosting them when I turned twelve. Turns out I’m better suited to marking the passage of time in a more subtle manner.

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To All My July Babies

The smell of roasting hot dogs and smokey BBQ drifts through my open window; a dusky twilight the flavour of summer. This is July. It’s a month marked by blue skies and slow drifting clouds, of flip flops and short shorts and fingers stained with fresh fruit juice. Lazy days are scented in coconut sunscreen, and punctuated with road trip tunes and tanning sessions by the lake.

But this month no longer looks the way I remember it as a child. It’s grown and shifted in its memories. It’s fuller. It’s more intricate in its complexities.

It’s more beautiful.

Now, when I think of July, I think of a tiny baby lying in a NICU incubator. I see little lungs heaving beneath fragile skin, and desperate prayers lifted high from a tear-stained hospital bed. I think of a child lying still in my arms, a tiny body swaddled in love. I think of blood, and hospital visits, and pregnancies that never made it past the first trimester. It’s a month of birthdays, and anniversaries, missed due dates, and death dates.

Alistair. Landon. Kära. Björn. My four July babies.

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Alistair Turns TWO

To my sweet, little man; my sunshine, my Alistair,

Today you turn two. Just the thought of it evokes all the imaginable cliches about babies growing up too quickly. Because although you still refer to yourself in third person, “baby” has now graduated to “big boy.”

This was a big year for you: learning to walk, beginning to talk. You’re getting bolder as you maneuver the equipment at the playground. You dance and run, tiptoe and sing. If there was a toddler edition of “So You Think You Can Dance,” you would win hands down.

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