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Cheers to Me on Your Birthday

Photograph by Twenty20

To my adorable child on your birthday,

Today, you turn a year older and I want to tell you all the things: I love you more than life. I can’t believe the speed at which you are growing up. I am blessed to be your mama. The day you were born will always be one of the most important days of my life, which is why today we celebrate you.

But also … we should celebrate ME.

I’m not exactly sure how celebrating birthdays got started. How, for instance, was it determined that we throw a party for the person who came out of the uterus and not the mom whose uterus the person came out of? Considering that the effort exuded by each of us that day was not exactly even, I have to say that I’m a little confused as to why we focus so much attention on you. It was definitely a big day for both of us. I just worked harder. That’s all.

How was it determined that we throw a party for the person who came out of the uterus and not the mom whose uterus the person came out of?

It was on this day just a few years ago that you came into this world. I remember clearly because I survived hours of labor, contractions that felt like they were slowing turning my body inside-out and fourth degree tearing of my hooha. That’s a day one never really forgets. That’s a day that, had it not ended with a little squishy, bundle of love in my arms, would have likely left me with PTSD.

Don’t get me wrong, baby—I love, love, love celebrating you on your birthday. I love spending the better part of the last two weeks planning your party and Amazon Priming party supplies to our house. I love listening to you share your birthday wish list with me a few (thousand) times. I even love staying up until 2:00 a.m. making those two attempts at the unicorn cake you want. But today? Today, I deserve a little celebrating too.

After all, it’s not like the work of motherhood ended on your birthday. No. That was only the beginning of sleepless nights, poop explosions and raw nipples. And once the baby stage was over, the grape-cutting began and then the bloody knees and seemingly endless butt-wiping. And while these are not my most favorite parts of the job, I do them because I love you. I do them because I am your mom and I brought you into this world. On your birthday.

So, today, my darling child, we celebrate you.

But, we give cheers to me.

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