Today my baby turns one. I have no idea where the past year has gone. I feel very blessed and very shocked that the year has flown by so quickly. Still, here we are, waiting for the baby (who is no longer a baby) of the family to wake up so we can celebrate his life, his existence, his place in our family.
I wrote just last week of how my older son’s birthday brought up emotions and memories of his sister’s birth and life. I am feeling something totally different today. It is totally based on the fact that my youngest son will be the last child to enter our family due to my health issues.
As such, my emotions are in a constant flux today. I am so elated that he is such an amazing little boy. But I’m emotional as well, realizing that this is the last first birthday I will actively participate in as a Mom.
With those emotions, I am keenly aware that I would have thrown another first birthday party had I parented my firstborn. To be fair to our adoption, I was present at the Munchkin’s first birthday. I am aware of how blessed and lucky and special I am to have had that experience as so many other birth parents, even those in open adoptions, are not afforded that luxury. But still, it is a different experience to attend your firstborn’s birthday party instead of throwing said party. I don’t even think I would have done much different as her party was a beautiful celebration! It’s just that twinge, the knowledge that it wasn’t me doing something for my child but someone else.
I am cognizant of the fact that all of those emotions might be an underlying factor as to why I always throw big parties for my sons. (Though, this year my older son got cheated out of a big-big party as I couldn’t have my family drive two hours two weeks in a row.) And, to be honest, next year (and in the years forthcoming) they will share a party to accommodate our families. But still. I like having that “control,” if you will, and knowing that it was my choice, my effort.
Today we will be letting our youngest son, no longer a baby, open his presents from us (I’m sure with some help from his brother, no?) and letting him devour a homemade cake. His party will be this coming Sunday. The Munchkin cannot attend because this is always a crazy time of year. (You know, for planning our children, we really didn’t think about the holidays, did we?) I will be the Mom and will pick up the cake and will help him open his presents and people will take our picture. It will feel good to be in that role.
I’m really working on allowing myself to enjoy my Mommy-moments without getting overly emotional about adoption issues. I’ve come a long way, of course, but I’m just not sure that those will ever magically disappear. My daughter is such a part of my being and it isn’t surprising that she is in my thoughts when our family has a special day.