Tag Archives: Birthday

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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A Polar Bear Birthday Party

Twelve months ago, the baby in the incubator looked more like a broken bird than a plump polar bear. During those early days, we were so focused on making it through the next hour that we couldn’t even dream of the next week, let alone an entire year.

But before I knew it, I was mailing out birthday invitations and dreaming of coconut covered cupcakes and polar bear guestbooks. A month of naptimes were spent making bunting, pompoms, and paper snowflakes. Our Costco membership card was broken in, presents wrapped, fondant rolled, and an overflowing igloo cake was stuffed in the oven, cried over, and very nearly stomped on. (Never again!)

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