May 04, 2005

seven years gone by

Damian turns seven tomorrow. He told me today was about saying goodbye to six and tomorrow will be about saying hello to seven. When Dan came in with a shopping bag full of presents, Damian hid his eyes. Even when he came into the bedroom later, he walked in with his eyes closed. "I don't want to accidentally see any of the presents." And so he didn't.

I wish we could make more of his birthday this year; we just got back from our life-altering trip east and first Dan, then Damian got stomach-wrenchingly ill. Still, we'll give presents and hugs tomorrow and make much of him, and Sunday we'll invite a few of his friends over to communally demarcate the division between six and seven, and we'll take him to Legoland and Sea World next week and call it a late birthday present. And I hope it will all feel like a true birthday, like a celebration, like love.

Seven years ago this minute, as I write this at ten p.m. on May 4th, seven years ago I was deep in labor. Transition, in fact, where it gets so painful and so sustained you think you're going to split wide open, cra-aa-ck, like an eggshell. Seven years ago an hour from now, I started to push. Not the end of the journey, it turned out, but a deeper descent into a nightmare night. But the story ends happily, with a healthy baby and a scar across my lower abdomen.

It took a long time to heal both physically and emotionally from that night, but now, seven years later, it finally feels distant enough, separate from me, simply the story of my baby's emergence into the world. At 4 a.m., my child was born. At 4 a.m. tomorrow morning, he will turn seven. The top of his head reaches my armpit now, his dark hair is thick and straight, and his laugh contagious. He has so much to say, and such bright eyes when he says it. So now, finally, yes. I can celebrate the anniversary of the day he was born, not just because it was the necessary prelude to parenthood but because it is simply what was, part of the pattern, the weave, of my -- and his -- life. And what is now comes from that, past is prologue and present is a child's kiss on my cheek and a sweet goodnight.

Posted by Tamar at May 4, 2005 10:14 PM | TrackBack

Happy birthday, sweet boy. And happy becoming-a-mother day (much more relevant than the one on Sunday) to you, Tamar.

Posted by: Tiny Coconut at May 5, 2005 10:30 AM

Hope Damian had a great birthday.

From Shannon and birthday buddy Evan.
(we're celebrating by having 15 boys spend the night--how's that for crazy?!)

Posted by: Shannon at May 5, 2005 10:08 PM
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