These have been busy days for us, and I am finally taking time to reflect on the milestones. As usual, I find myself stunned that time has passed so quickly. It seems impossible that it was 11 years ago that we walked (or waddled in my case) into the hospital on a wintry day as a carefree couple. We walked out two days later on a beautiful spring day as parents, amazed that nobody stopped us to challenge our right to leave with our little bundle. We were overwhelmed with the responsibility and joy of that moment.
Two years later, Oscar came along, and we almost didn't make it to the hospital. He was so excited to join us that he was born 20 minutes after Gabe stopped the car at the hospital's front door.
I love remembering those days, and they have become family lore. On each birthday, we serve the birthday child breakfast in bed and recount the story of the first birth day. They are entranced trying to imagine a time before they were here on this earth. Continuing a tradition that we started in preschool, we also give them the highlights of each year of their lives, mentioning accomplishments, songs, and activities that marked each year for them. It is such a joy to watch the children take in all of the birthday magic - the stories, the fuss, the gifts, the parties, the cake.
As for us parents, I still am overwhelmed by the responsibility and joy of the role. Most days, there is no place I would rather be than with one or more of their wonderful selves. They truly are a delight. On the responsibility side, I am always aware that my actions have an incredible impact on their lives. I make so many mistakes as I stumble through this parenting thing, but I hope that they know how much I cherish them. I'll be happy if they remember that along with the missteps when they look back on their childhoods. That and some good cooking. Especially the cake. There will always be cake.