Tomorrow, February 28th, is Blake's first birthday. For the past couple of weeks, I've been constantly reminding myself of what I was doing on certain days last year. I don't know why, but I've always liked to remember things one year, two years, 5 years on...I guess it helps firm up certain events in my mind and I also like trying to evoke the feelings I was having at the time. So in a way, despite the fact that because of the nature of the Gregorian calendar today is actually the anniversary of the day before Blake arrived, I could think of today as the anniversary of my first full day - a Friday - with him. In the same way, on Tuesday night I said to Matt that it was a year ago we'd gone out to dinner at the Salusbury pub (he'd had ravioli which he'd only sometime this year revealed to me was frozen, but I still have fond memories of the meal, "our last meal out before the baby came"), and on Wednesday when I woke up I could remember pretty clearly waking up a year ago at 6:00 in the morning with the first signs of labor. Yesterday I couldn't shake the constant feeling that it was the Thursday a year ago that Blake arrived, and how it was still the hardest day of my life. Matt and Mom both have mentioned in the past week that they will not soon forget their feelings of that day.
Interestingly, I've had a similar set of emotions in my head today as I did one year ago (fortunately for a less dramatic reason!). If you'll recall, the events after Blake's arrival were pretty scary for me, and I can very easily conjure up the disappointment and sadness I felt about how difficult everything had been, so unlike anything I'd dreamed my labor would be like. No, it was not easy, and yes, it could have been easier, but the end result was a good one - a fantastic one! I'd survived the process of delivering a beautiful and healthy baby. Still, I can never change the events to be able to tell the story any differently, and I'll always wonder what things might have been like, how I would have felt differently about those first weeks of being a mother, had I had a much more easy delivery.
Fortunately, Blake by all accounts won't be able to remember his first birthday. Which I guess is the silver lining on the cloud that's brought in a fever and general malaise to my sweet little baby. I spent all day yesterday shopping, baking and cleaning in advance of the Big 0-1; today would start with a delivery of cupcakes to nursery, a half day of work for me, and then a return home for a party with Blake's little friends. Tomorrow would then be a family thing with further cake and lunch. When we woke up today, however, it was clear that Blake's just not 100%. He has a fever and has been coming to me for cuddles, which he almost never does if he's feeling well. Given the way these things seem to spread like wildfire among the kids, I had to quickly decide to stay at home with him and cancel this afternoon's party. And so, I guess I felt a little bit sorry for myself, and for him, that the first part of this big milestone date has so far fallen flat (unlike my 32 carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing, which seem to have come out perfectly!). In addition, instead of being able to superbly balance my job with the fun of the fun parts of being a mother, I had to phone in to say that today I would only have the ability to just be a mother. All the feelings of two weeks ago with the measles came rushing back, and I just have to hope that the majority of the people I work with are parents themselves, so that they can understand the way that I have no choice but to release my vice grip on being able to control things, and how hard it is to do that.
With Blake in his cot and hopefully sleeping off his illness, I'm left to ponder my plan for his celebrations. I had planned to bake him another cake for tomorrow, but with nearly 3 dozen cupcakes in the fridge it seems silly not to just use them (although this morning when I accepted the fact that I wasn't going to get to share them, I ate one - unfortunately I didn't think very well about which one to eat, and ate one with an "A" on it...so that now the set intended for his party reads "HAPPY BD Y BLAKE!"). On the bright side, with being here this morning we were able to go out and get him a present, which we hadn't yet done anything about! And as many have said, if he's going to be sick on his birthday, this is a good one, since he won't be able to look back on the day and remember any of the details, or be sad not to get to spend the afternoon with his friends. When I celebrated my own birthday back in July, I had a newfound appreciation of the fact that I think one's mother should actually be fêted on one's birthday, which is I guess why I felt so disappointed this morning. Given that our party's cancelled for this afternoon, and I'm actually on "vacation", I think I'll go have a nap to celebrate. Perhaps I'll stop by the kitchen on the way and have another cupcake.
Stay tuned for photos and updates; hopefully tomorrow we can celebrate the actual anniversary of Blake's birth with a much more chipper Blake to enjoy it.