Monday, March 14, 2011

Birthdays

I just turned 38 years old on March 10th and I will be celebrating my daughter turning 6 on March 15th. In just a few short weeks, my son will turn 8 on April 13th and then my husband will turn 40 on May 1st. A lot of birthdays packed into just a few months (not to mention all the other birthdays in the family).

Birthdays-It really got me thinking. I have never really liked my own birthday. I have never enjoyed the spotlight being on me (unless I am teaching and then, bring on the spotlight-I love to teach), but really, I hate being the center of attention. Growing up, the thought of a room full of people looking at me and singing was pretty terrifying. I really did not want a lot of people looking at me. When I turned 16, my parents threw me a surprise party. They got together with my siblings and all my church youth group/school friends and surprised me. I was mortified. Every picture of me at that event shows my entire face and neck a beautiful blotchy red. STOP LOOKING AT ME! I did get a pretty string of fresh water pearls. I still have them.

When I was in college, I got all my clothes stolen from my locker while I was at swim practice. I had to run back to my dorm from they gym with one of those little, tiny gym-issue towels wrapped (not really) around me in my suit. And, that day in March the weather was more like a lion than a lamb (cold!). I was mad that my clothes got stolen-yes. But, I was more mad that they stole my favorite rugby shirt (It was the 90's we were all wearing rugby shirts) and the t-shirt I bought after hiking from the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the top-all by myself-in one day!

The following year, I had to have my tonsils removed just 2 days before my 21st birthday. No partying took place on my 21st that year.

I never really liked my birthday.

When my son was born in 2003 the entire concept of the birthday changed. BIRTHDAY-it all made sense. What an amazing thing a birthday is. It is the day when you and your mother meet for the first time. It is the day that you receive the most amazing gift you could ever receive from your mother-LIFE. It is the day that your mother probably worked the hardest and will NEVER forget. I got it. The day my son was born (well, the two day period it became) was one of the most amazing days of my entire life. I remember being so amazed that not only had I survived the prior 9 months (If you knew me while I was pregnant, you were probably amazed I survived). But, it was the day I felt the most powerful. I am woman-HEAR ME ROAR. I grew a being inside of me and on that day, I pushed him out and listened to him take his first breath, make his first sound and was the only thing that could sooth him from his crying. I knew immediately upon giving birth that I wanted to do that again. Yeah, the 9 months were crappy. I puked EVERY SINGLE DAY. I had stretch marks, I had hemorrhoids, I had tears in places I won't mention, I had burst blood vessels in my face, my bladder was a wreck. But, holy crap. I had a baby. It was then that I realized that birthdays are the most amazing day-not in the life of the baby, child, kid... They are the most amazing day in the life of the mother.

When my daughter was born 6 years ago, it was a very different kind of experience. First, I knew exactly what I was in for, and I was really not looking forward to the pain. But, I was ready to meet my child-especially since the gender was a surprise to everyone. But, just 9 short months before I gave birth to my second child, I lost my own mother. I won't lie. It was a bittersweet day. It was the day that BIRTHDAY really became unbelievably burned in my head as an amazing day. The day that I was born was the day my mother got to meet me for the first time. It was the day that the two of us shared what was unlike any other day. My birthday, March 10th, 1973, was the day that my mother's life changed. It was the day she felt powerful. It was the day she first heard me cry. It was the day she had imagined for nine months. It was the day that she and I became mother and daughter.

Five days before my own daughter was born, I spent my very first birthday without my mother. It was the saddest day of my life. The day she died, very sad. The funeral day, very sad. What would have been my parent's 38th wedding anniversary, very sad. Thanksgiving, Christmas... all very sad. But, I never felt more alone than the first time I celebrated my own birthday without my mother. What did it feel like? It felt like I could not breathe, I could not see. It felt like something had been torn from me. I felt that something was absolutely, positively wrong. Of course, on the outside, all you could see was a woman who was 9 months pregnant. I was a woman with a loving husband, family and a 23 month old, amazing boy. But, I was a woman-totally and completely lost.

My own birthday was missing the star performer. The person who made it all happen-was gone-Forever. It was the day that I realized that birthdays are the most amazing days of any person's life-it is the day that you and your mother become, well, you and your mother. It is a day that your mother will never forget.

Five days later, I met my baby girl and named her after my own mother. I cried. I was happy-absolutely. But, of course, something was missing.

I get birthdays. I really do. It ain't about the kid. I will tell you that. Have a party but remember the woman who made it all possible.

I think that each year, birthdays should celebrate the mother. Give that woman a party-For God's sake-she deserves it.

April 13, 2003.














March 15, 2005












me and my mom. Not on my birthday. 1995 Columbia SC.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Really?


IMG_7429
Originally uploaded by ekulibraries

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Monday, October 26, 2009




Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mini Vacation Day 2-Cincy

We continued our mini vacation in Cincinnati by heading to the zoo. We got out of our hotel room early, and headed into the rush hour traffic so we could be at the zoo gates when they open at 9am. We really wanted to beat the crowds and see the animals when they would be eating and most active. We pulled into the parking lot and were ready to go when a zoo employee told us the bad news-there had been an electrical fire the night before and the zoo was without power and would probably be offline for a few days. Ok, fine. We really wanted to go to the zoo but we knew we could also go to the Museum Center and headed in that direction. The Museum Center did not open until 10am and we got there about 9:05. There is one perk to getting there almost an hour early-you don't have to pay the $6.50 parking fee because there is no one in the parking booth yet. Yeah for us.
We went into the Museum Center which has 3 museums in it and an Omnimax theater. We decided to buy the tickets that let us go into all 3 museums and the movie. TPG enjoyed the movie about dinosaurs, DCG put up with the movie about dinosaurs.
This picture is a view of the ceiling in the Museum Center located in the Union Terminal-pretty cool.
While in the natural history musuem, TTG got to meet his hero-Sherlock Holmes. Holmes was helping us solve the mystery of glaciers and ice ages.
TPG spotted a wild animal while DCG was scaring it with her claws.
We then went into the children's museum which caused both parents to break into sweat and have heart palpitations. Way too many kids running around like idiots. The kids enjoyed themselves until TPG got a huge bucket of water dumped on his head by a random child. I saw the whole thing and can attest to all of you that he did absolutely nothing to provoke this. The kid came from across the room and just dumped it on him. Oh well. As you can see, DCG is now interested in a job in road construction. I think she is smart cause she chose the sitting down job and driving the truck.
Even thought TTG was on vacation, he could not help but face up the shelves in the pretend grocery store. The kids did not mind helping.
We then traveled back to the great Commonwealth to visit the newest member of the family. Aunt A, Uncle C and cousin A welcomed a new baby girl last week and we were all very excited to visit. TPG sat and held her for at least 30 minutes and did not want to put her down.
DCG was mad because she realized that her cousin A is a big sister and DCG is only a little sister. Nonetheless, she LOVED holding the baby.
Uncle T enjoyed his time with the newest member of the family as well.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mini Vacation-Cincy

We decided again to stay close to home for a little vacation. While I really, really, need to get to a beach, and quick, it just did not play into the cards for this summer. If anyone finds themselves at a beach in the next few weeks, please stand at the water's edge, take a really deep breath as the water hits your feet and send me some of that smell, feel, and calm. I need it!
Ok, so we went to Cincinnati and decided to go to King's Island and then either to the zoo or the Children's Museum (the decision is being made by T and the kids as I type this). The first night involved eating at Big Boy and some time in the hotel pool.











After the hotel pool the kids were happy as clams in front of the TV until bedtime. Doesn't take much to make my kids happy. Not sure why I try so hard. We got up early and headed over to King's Island.













While there we road the rides, ate yummy LaRosa's Pizza in the Festhause and got our faces painted.
On a final note, TPG has had a huge last few days. In just a few short days, he has figured out how to ride his bicycle with no training wheels, figured out how to swim the length of a pool without drowning and today he rode on a ton of the real roller coasters with NO fear. His favorite was the Beast. I am in complete shock that he has gotten so big. I am a little afraid of what comes next-armpit hair??? But, you know, he still loves his mom and did not mind holding my hand as we went down the really big hills of the coasters. I think he may just turn out ok after all.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Chicago

I am in Chicago attending the American Library Association Conference this weekend. I realize that I have not posted anymore pictures from our trip to Akron and I promise to do that soon. But, I am sitting here in the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago and just spent some time walking through Millennium Park here in Chicago and wanted to post these pics before I called it a night. We had a pretty long drive after driving for an hour and having to turn around and head back to Richmond to get something and then running into terrible rain and stand still construction traffic. Driving into Chicago was a bit crazy. The vehicle traffic was not fun but the pedestrian traffic was the worst. It was almost impossible to make a right turn-ugh. We made it and here are a few pics.
Some tall buildings!

The "bean" or it's real name Cloud Gate with me, TN and JT from EKU Libraries.
Touching the bean
View standing under the bean looking up
Now I am touching the bean