On Friday, my twins turned one year old. It’s utterly amazing to me that these creatures who, one year ago, were tiny, helpless beings, are now suddenly… toddlers. I don’t know how it happened. I guess it’s not exactly sudden, but it feels like we have entered a new realm, and closed the door (at least for now) on the first phase of parenthood. Which of course brings both a huge wave of relief, followed by an (equally huge, for me at least) wave of nostalgia for those days of tiny babyhood.
The first birthday is such a funny thing, because while it feels so momentous to the parents, the kids themselves have no idea what’s going on. My babies took the celebrating in stride and mashed some cupcake all over their faces in good traditional first birthday form, but of course they have no idea what a birthday is. All my concern with making this birthday fun for them and planning nearly three days of special celebratory activities, I realized afterwards, wasn’t really for them, but actually for me.
And why shouldn’t it be? One of the nicest moments in this birthday extravaganza was when a friend said to me, really, we should be celebrating YOU – you did this. You carried the babies, gave birth to them, nursed them for a year, gave up sleep, and generally devoted yourself to making sure they survived and thrived through this first year of life. What an accomplishment.
I hadn’t thought about it in quite those terms before, but I appreciated the sentiment. So I’ll take this moment to revel in my motherly achievements and share the pride with all my fellows Imas out there. And of course, even as I take great satisfaction and primary responsibility for bringing my family through this year, I feel absolutely blessed to have been given this opportunity. There has never been a more fitting moment to say Shehecheyanu v’kiy’manu v’higianu la-z’man ha-zeh.