Monday, January 4, 2010

Ode to a December Birthday

The day I gave birth to Emmy, in December of 1999, an abnormal amount of women were simultaneously giving birth to their attempted millennial babies (I promise that we weren't trying to win that lottery), leaving no room for me in the maternity ward. I, along with the other unfortunate overflow mothers, was crammed into a non-obstetric room on another floor of the hospital.. My roommate was a woman who had just given birth to her 4th fatherless child and who happened to be suffering from a hacking cough that woke me or Emmy anytime either of us drifted off for moments of precious post womb-eviction sleep. I don't remember feeling any empathy for the "sensitive" pain she must have felt each time she coughed. It probably was because she didn't speak in any other tone other than yelling and continually made it clear that she was more anxious to cradle a cigarette than her new baby.

Unfortunately, this experience was a sign of many December 18th birthdays to come. On Emmy's first birthday, I thoughtlessly scheduled her 12 month dose of 5 vaccinations. Emmy, in all her good nature, tried her best to celebrate. Alas, she was stricken with a shot-induced fever and whimpered every time she moved her poor needle poked swollen legs. At least we gave her a cheerful yellow balloon to accompany her woeful wobbling during her birthday party.

Each year, Emmy's birthday has been stuffed in the slim available crevices that rarely exist in the crazy month of December. Last year, her birthday party was cancelled due to snow...twice. And this year, her birthday treat had to be sent to school two days early so as to avoid conflicting with other holiday celebrations. She didn't even bother to ask for a friend party, maybe because her birthday was sandwiched between Ansel's school gingerbread play, a church party, and a Christmas party at a friend's house.

We NEVER wrap her gifts in Christmas paper. We always make sure she isn't gypped in the gift department on Christmas, and we do our best as parents to make her feel that this day is one of our most favoritest days in the world. Still, I occasionally wish that darn stork had come a few weeks earlier....or later. Then maybe we would have won the free diapers for a year.

Emmy does not like being the center of attention. I wouldn't be surprised if she was grateful that December steals a big portion of her thunder.

This 88 cent gift offered hours of fun for everyone. I love this toxic stuff.
This book will not be released in the U.S. until May. In an effort to truly surprise and delight her, I paid more money to ship the book from England than I paid for the book.

These little animals were all that Emmy put on her birthday list. She has quite a few sets of different animal babies on her shelf and has had to move them a few times from the clutches of our kitten, who, possibly out of jealousy, likes to swat them under the piano and other impossible to reach places. I must admit that these little animals make me want to make a call to Mr. Stork again.

Emmy's namesake is Ralph Waldo Emerson. She may actually come to appreciate this someday. He said, "The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year." I hope Emmy knows in each and every common moment that she is a miracle and that each and every day in which she is in our life, is our best day.


The Lazy Atheist said...
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The Lazy Atheist said...

I have to say I can relate. My birthday is December 17th. One of my Fathers-in-law (yes, I have two) shares his birthday with your daughter. My Brother's birthday is December 31st, a year and two weeks after mine. One of my Wife's Nieces (my niece-in-law?) birthday is the 16th of December, and my Wife's Grandmother was born on December 20th, 1913. Or maybe 1912, apparently record keeping was not high on the list in Poland just before the first World War. Of course being Jewish, it wasn't such a big deal for them. My parents were also very good about keeping my Birthday and Christmas separate, something I came to appreciate.

I also have to tell you how much I like your blog. I came across it purely by chance - I was doing a search on "Ain't no one that can sing like me" and your blog post came up. I was looking for a musician named Matt Harper - an English folk musician who specializes in American folk music. I never did find anything on him, but your post made me laugh out loud.

Kaerlig said...

Happy Birthday to Emmy- late of course. Ray is a December birthday and I didn't send his treats 2 days early...I should think of that next time because his birthday got lost in the school Christmas party.

melissa said...

What a beautiful tribute to emmy. I hope she had a great day. When I read your blog it reminds me to celebrate my kids lives more. It is good for me to have a reminder. Hope you had some happy holidays.