Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Birthday Memories

Clara came into the world two years ago today. We celebrated her birthday this weekend with friends and family and as talk turned to the day of her birth I realized how much my feelings on the day have changed over time, and how much the day gets better and better over time. Two years ago, I would have used words like “surreal,” “scary,” and “freaky” to describe the experience. From Megan’s water breaking at the B.B. King concert to going home after the birth knowing everything had changed I couldn’t shake my nervousness. The fear that I felt that day – not only for Clara’s health but for Megan’s – morphed into an insecurity that I wasn’t up to the task of fatherhood or that I wouldn’t love my child. Everything was new to me and I had no idea how to feel about any of it. Emotion wise, it’s not exactly what I would call the greatest day of my life.

Now when I look back on Clara’s birth I can’t help but think of the girl she is now, and the memory of her birth grows better and better because it’s colored by who she would and will become. In essence, in my memory I project her current self onto that big-eyed fragile creature who sucked her two middle fingers almost immediately (which she still does when tired.) I want to hold her and protect her and tell her all the things she’s going to do and people she’s going to meet. I had no idea who she was when I first saw her. Now I know everything about her – what she likes, what makes her sad, where her tickle spots are. Memories tend to get better when the person you are remembering is laying in your lap, singing twinkle twinkle little star. And she’s only two years old -- I can only imagine what other parents have felt when their children grow up.


Tracy Bittle said...

Every Birthday and every day they get older makes the love and amazement grow. I used to worry before Kyle was born if I could love him as much as Alex. I love all three of them with more heart than I knew I had in me.

There are things in life I would have never known about if I did not have my children.

Happy Birthday Clara and happy parents day, Joel and Megan.

Hug the babies for me.

Anonymous said...

The feeling is generational. Be it 33 years or 6 months, the pride and love increases exponentially. The picure you have of that toddler is still in your heart as you look at him holding his child.

Happy Birthday Clara. Grandma wishes she could be there with you.

Joel and Megan, I always wish I could be with you.

Love to all,