Happy Birthday, Baby!
“Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday, Dear Micah. Happy birthday to you!” The morning of Micah’s first birthday, Hubby and I serenaded our little man with the most beautiful rendition of “Happy Birthday” ever sung. Of the hundreds of times I had sung the song, it never brought me to tears the way it did on that day. If you’ve been following along on my journey, you know that it doesn’t take much to make this mommy cry; but these tears were different. They were made up of joy, amazement and an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment.
Birthdays take on a whole new meaning as a parent. You are celebrating your achievements as well as your child’s. We had survived our first year as parents, and for that, a celebration was in order! For months, we had discussed our plans for the big day. I kept waffling on my decision to spend a low-key evening with just us or to throw a big fête. We don’t live in the same city as many of our close relatives and in the end; decided that throwing a big celebration wouldn’t be the same without our loved ones. So we decided to keep it simple and spend the night at home as a family.
We walked into school on the morning of his birthday, and there was a banner hanging in the lobby that said “Happy 1st Birthday, Micah!” His teachers had all the other babies “sign” the poster with their handprints and decorated it with his favorite things (cars, books and Cheerios™!) This signaled my second round of tears for the day. The school director handed me a tissue as she hugged me and whispered “Good job, Mommy” in my ear. His teachers told me to log in to the web cameras later in the afternoon so I could watch his class birthday party. When I did, I saw the highchairs set in a circle and all the babies were eating special muffins that were prepared by the school cook. His teacher, Ms. Monica, had bought him a rubber car with wheels and an ABC board book. At pick-up, they presented me with a plaster plaque with an imprint of Micah’s hand and foot. I was once again blown away by the thoughtful nature of the staff at his Kids ‘R’ Kids preschool.
On the way home that evening, Micah and I stopped at a local cupcake shop to purchase his birthday treats. While I was there, I received a phone call from a cousin who lives nearby. He wanted to bring his family (some of Micah’s extended cousins) over to celebrate. I would pick up cupcakes, and they would bring dinner and a party spirit. In less than five minutes, our low-key evening got a little boost. One of the many things I had learned in the past twelve months is that flexibility is the key to good parenting. In this case, I was happy to make a change and invite more love into our home in honor of Micah.
The night turned out to be a great success. Micah got to play with his older cousins, who were all too happy to dote on him and shower him with hugs and kisses. We opened presents, we sang and we took dozens of photos as my little dude played with and attempted to eat his cupcake. This might go without saying, but, of course, there were more tears – lots of them!
As I lay in bed that night, I recalled the events of not only the day but also the past twelve months. There isn’t a single thing I would change – not the tears or insecurities or even the lack of sleep. I have loved every minute of our first year together. Happy birthday, little man. Thanks for making me a mommy!