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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March 1, 2015 Emma's First Birthday

The single candle lit up her face.  It flickered and her eyes moved between it and all of the smiling faces looking at her.  I can only guess what might have been going through her head as she was initiated into the birthday tradition.  Her little eyes were taking it all in.  Her hands rested quietly on the tray of the high chair.  A quick glance upward connecting with my eyes and then a glance to the right to connect with sissy's eyes.  "Happy Birthday dear Emma, happy birthday to you" was punctuated with a "cha-cha-cha" from Sissy's best friend, Kayla.

Quietly staring.  The tradition of celebrating birthdays so foreign.  Something that she will be dreaming of in a couple of years, counting down the days.  Does she wonder why everyone is looking at her when she was the one doing the looking just minutes before as all the party go-ers talked amongst themselves?  Does she wonder why everyone began to sing and all seemed to know the song?  Does she wonder what a candle is and why is the camera out again?

I placed a slice of carrot cake with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting on her tray.  She took her fore and middle fingers and gingerly placed them in the frosting.  While still closely watching the crowds she carefully placed them in her mouth.  We were of course expecting her to smear it all over her tray before applying it to her hair like opaque gel.  She did not.  She was thoughtful as she placed the frosting her in mouth.  The same two fingers came out and carefully pushed the piece of cake over so it fell onto its side.  Carefully she peeled off a bite from the bottom and placed it into her mouth.  By now our friends had given up on the hope of a hilarious baby finger painting the frosting across every surface scene and were staring at the cake.  I doled out pieces but kept an eye on Em.  She kept an eye on everyone else slowly eating bits and pieces of cake.

After a few more bites Em just stopped eating, rested her hands on her tray and watched.  The spectacle around her seemed to be more of a novelty than the cake itself.  I picked her up and carried her to wash the bits of cake and frosting off her hands.  Certainly not the bath I thought she would need.

As I fell asleep later that night, I thought about how much I take for granted that she will learn.  I thought about the journey of learning that she is on and what she will teach me in the process.  The humility of being a mama.  There are so many gifts to motherwood but this was the birthday gift from Emma to mama.

5 comments:

  1. I love this line: "The spectacle around her seemed to be more of a novelty than the cake itself." Little ones have the best priorities, don't they? Yes, that is a real gift that she gave to you - and her sissy, everyone. She seemed to just love being with everyone! Very sweet.

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  2. This was beautiful. You really have a gift for writing. I felt like I was there. Such a beautiful memory to have written down.

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    1. Thank you for the compliment. I feel like my one year old learning how to walk. Cautious and careful because I am unsteady in this role. I'm excited to reflect on my own growth at the end of March.

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  3. This was beautiful. You really have a gift for writing. I felt like I was there. Such a beautiful memory to have written down.

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  4. Beautiful! My little girl turned one last week and we're celebrating with family this upcoming weekend, so your words really resonated with me. What a great way to capture each moment of this special memory!

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