Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Happy Birthday!

Today my daughter, my only child, turns one.

Until now, I was always one of those people who thought that age was just number.   I was not that person who wanted to remain forever 29.  Age just wasn't that big a deal to me.

But then today rolled around and I can see from the calender that today really is the day that my daughter is one and I wonder how it can be possibleSee, I know it's her birthday, but it's hard to believe when you take into consideration the fact that she was only born yesterday. 

And let me tell you that since the 11-month-mark, there have been several moments of tears as I looked at her newborn photos and realized she's growing up far quicker than I could ever imagine she would. I expected it to be fast, everyone told me it would be fast, but this fast?!

Could it really have been a year ago that I casually stepped into the hospital for what I thought would
Artwork by Olga in Bolivia
be a quick checkup before being sent home, as had happened so many times due to a lot of pregnancy sickness all along?  I almost didn't go. I phoned them and said I wasn't coming in.  They insisted.  I remember listening to the nurses and hearing certain words, words that I knew the meaning to but couldn't comprehend how they could relate to me.  Words like "Labour" and "Delivery." Words that, after awhile caused me to ask, "Wait, is my baby going to be here sometime this week?"  I'll never forget the nurse looking me in the eye and responding, "Your baby will be here today."

And at 11:01pm I held her in my arms for the first time, my precious little miracle of 5 lbs 5oz.   My tiny child who did not reach 6 lbs until almost two months old, despite being a healthy, happy, and strong baby.  And now... now? How can she be ONE? She's over 20lbs, she wears 12month clothing.  She has 6 teeth, and her favourite foods are sushi (nothing raw!) and black olives.  She can't walk yet, but she's getting close.  She can say words like, "Mum, Hi, Bye, Bottle, Book, Nana," and more.

She's very independent, and she loves to climb.  In fact, she climbed my flight of stairs only a day or two after learning to crawl.  That was at 8 months, and now she's one.  One, one, one!  I wonder, when will age once again seem like just a number

I love the age she's at now.  It's a fun age.  I've loved every age she's reached.  I've loved everything about parenting and I look forward to seeing what new milestones age one will bring.  But it's going too fast.  I wish there was a way to slow time a little bit, so I could enjoy each stage just a tiny bit longer before the next.

We will celebrate her birthday today with a small family birthday party.  I will be taking photos.  She will try her first piece of cake.  We will blow out her first candle and open her gifts. We will start new traditions that one day she will look back upon and always remember as being a part of her birthday celebration.

And one day, when she's older, I look forward to giving her a very special gift on her birthday.  One day, I want to give her the gift of an international friend.   One of the joys of my life has always been my relationship with my sponsored children and I want to share that joy with her.  When she's old enough, I would like to sponsor a child born on the exact same day as her and introduce them to each other on her birthday.  And maybe one day she will write to her friend and tell them about her birthday traditions, and maybe they will write back and tell her about theirs.

I've found that many of my sponsored children celebrate birthdays in the same manner that I did as a child.  They eat cake, and their mums bake them a special meal.  One of my kids recently wrote that "My mum just told me on my birthday we will get to eat my favourite meal of rice, beans and honey!"  Another told me that "I got a bag of sweets on my birthday and I shared it with all my siblings and my neighbours!"

And then another wrote that, "We celebrate birthdays the same way you do, but this year my parents said we couldn't afford to celebrate."    Oh.

But, what if? What if these children who can't always afford their own birthday celebrations, their own happy-filled birthday memories to look back upon, what if they still got a card? A gift even?  Because what if their sponsor sent them one?  Oh such joy!  We can make that happen.  If you have a sponsored child with a birthday coming up, I would encourage you to please, please, take the time to write to them today and send them a special greeting for their birthday.  Tell them how special they are, how happy you are they were born on this special day however many years ago.

And if you don't have a sponsored child, why not sponsor one? Did you know that Compassion has a page where you can browse children who are celebrating their birthday today? 

It's right HERE all you gotta do is click and say yes, and suddenly one of these precious faces will receive your gift of love.  You can tell them how you sponsored them on their birthday.  You can send a card.  If you want, you can send some birthday money through Compassion so they can buy a special birthday gift. You can tell them that you are happy that God created them.

I beg you, because as I look at my girl on her special day today, I can't imagine this milestone in her life going by unnoticed.

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful post about the reminder that we can give our sponsored kids special birthdays, by at least remembering them with a card! And I can completely understand what you wrote about wondering how quickly a newborn becomes a toddler!

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    1. Thanks Hannah! It was unbelievably fast really! Now that she's one I had to start back at work, my second day today after a year and two weeks off, but that year went so fast I feel like I never left the job! Crazy! I miss her during the day!

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