I was never really fond of celebrating my birthday. I never really felt that my birthday was any different or any more special than the other days of the year. Sure, I received my fair share of birthday gifts and my parents always made sure to buy me a huge birthday cake, but I knew that time didn’t stop just because I was born x years ago today. I still had to go to school (and usually our periodical tests would be scheduled right around that time – ugh), my parents still had to go to work, and when I’d watch the news, I’d learn that crimes still happened and people still suffered/died even though it was my birthday.
But that all changed when the bear arrived. I’ve come to realize that birthdays (her birthday in particular) are special.
As a mother, I have learned to appreciate birthdays as celebrations of life and love. Meia’s birthday is an opportunity for me to remember how one (lunar) year ago, the bear came into this world (a few weeks early I might add) and made Pao and I feel like the luckiest — and most sleep deprived — people on earth. While I cannot deny that the rest of the world kept turning on the day of Meia’s birth, it wasn’t quite the same world as it was the second before she was born. For one, it became less painful (I was finished with labor after all).
Happy chinese birthday, little one. I know, I know, it’s just your birthday according to the lunar calendar, but I can’t help it. I get all teary-eyed whenever I think of how much you’ve grown over the past (lunar) year. From a 5 pound eating and pooping machine you are now a 17 pound eating and pooping machine. From being asleep most of the day and awake most of the night, you now know when exactly to sleep (just as we are about to leave the house) and when exactly to wake up (when I am about to sleep). You are now smarter and more efficient in your mommy annoying ways and I love you more for it. Your arrival has made the world more beautiful, more colorful, more challenging, and more rewarding.