Baby T turned one yesterday and I spent a lot of time trying not to remember this time last year for fear of a PTSD type of episode. Instead we occupied ourselves with some wonderful new birthday traditions. The first is a nod to friends over at SouleMama. I made a birthday crown, no small task for someone with the crafty-ness of a snail. It actually turned out a lot better than I expected and gives me hope that I won’t embarrass myself at MOPS. We had a banana cake with cream cheese frosting. T wore a dress my mom made her for the occasion.
We also read a poem to commemorate the day. We’re going to save them in a special box for her to look back on. This year we chose Nan Cohen’s “A Newborn Girl at Passover.” We think it sums up our feelings about our little one quite nicely:
Consider one apricot in a basket of them.
It is very much like all the other apricots–
an individual already, skin and seed.
Now think of this day. One you will probably forget.
The next breath you take, a long drink of air.
Holiday or not, it doesn’t matter.
A child is born and doesn’t know what day it is.
The particular joy in my heart she cannot imagine.
The taste of apricots is in store for her.
We hope that the reading of the poem, the blessing over a special dinner, a homemade cake, a felt crown, and the presence of family and friends will become more significant than gifts, which we also had. T is still too young to get the present thing but I think next year we will have to be more intentional about it. I love gift giving and think it’s an important part of the day. But I’d love to think of some other ways to imagine gifting and giftedness, like T preparing presents for her family members as she recalls how important they are to her on this day. Or one bigger gift, like the wood play kitchen I’m lusting after, an art easel, a new bike. It could be something we contribute to as a family. Or it could be an activity: plane tickets to see family in Iowa, an art class, a concert with the whole family, or a weekend trip somewhere she’s always wanted to go. I’m excited to be intentional and creative in our gifting.
It’s been a wondering, difficult, tear-filled, laughter-filled, fun, boring, energizing, frightening, peace-filled, holy year watching our baby grow.