It was my daughter's 4th birthday and I had the flu. I had already been in bed for 2 days and it didn't look like it was finished with me yet. Those who know me know how much I love throwing parties for my kids and celebrating them. It's like my thing.
And this year, it was the night before her birthday and I could barely get out of bed. We had canceled her party for the following day and I asked my husband, hot tears on my cheeks, can't we just cancel her birthday too? I mean, just postpone it til I am feeling better? She won't know it's her actual birthday. She's only four, she barely knows the days of the week. And her seven year old brother, well, he doesn't really know the exact date of her birthday, right? I had so much planned that was undone... decorating her bedroom door for her to wake up to, making a special birthday breakfast, presents that weren't wrapped yet.
My husband just put the cold washcloth back on my forehead and ask if he could get me anything before he turned out the light and left me with my fever-delirious thoughts of canceling my daughter's birthday.
Before I fell in a fitful sleep, I set my alarm for 2:00 a.m. My daughter's time of birth. Every year, on my children's birthdays, I take a “time of birth” picture. Though I was sick, I was determined not to miss out on this tradition. But by 1 a.m. I had barely slept. I was exhausted, my body ached and my head was pounding. There would be no "time of birth" picture this year. I turned off my alarm, rolled over and fell asleep.
My body violently jerked awake and I could feel her being pulled out of my belly. I looked at the clock and it read 2:00 a.m. It was then I realized, I can't just pretend it's not her birthday. My body will never forget. And I realized, gratefully, my daughter's birthday is so much more than just her mommy celebrating her. She also has a daddy and a brother and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and friends and neighbors who want to love on her and bring her flowers and gifts and sing her happy birthday. Why would I want to postpone this for my daughter?
So my daughter celebrated her birthday weekend without her mommy. And she was just fine. She was actually more than fine. She went sledding at her G & Pop Pop's, her daddy bought her pink tulips and they went out for birthday donuts. When I can't take over my daughter's birthday, her Daddy gets to celebrate her, in his own way. Which meant, when his birthday cake came out lopsided, he turned it into a mountain for Elsa and Anna to snowboard down. Her brother helped decorate it and the birthday girl loved it!
While I was sad to miss my daughter's birthday, I'm also grateful for all the people in her life to love on her and not only celebrate her, but celebrate her so well, in each their own ways.
Happy 4 baby girl! You are so loved.