Monday, September 26, 2011
Next, Lily's Birthday
It was a good birthday party. There were lots of vegetables and cheese and crackers and a salad and pizza and a yummy cake and ice cream. And presents galore which Owen opened one at a time, all by himself, and squealed with joy and he got boots that he put on immediately and a giant soft elephant and a monkey man doll that his mama made him
and a drum and mallets
that he only wanted to rest his arms on but which he did not want to give up to open the next present and a drum set and an easel and books and stickers and puzzles and , and, and....
He got a tricycle and a red wagon from Bop and Mer.
Figuring out the pedals is going to take some time. He can already do the bell though.
Buddy Waylon was there with his mama Shayla and he was a very polite young man and tolerated the fact that Owen was getting one present after another with more grace than I would have managed. They sat together to eat pizza and ice cream. They are beautiful boys.
That's Waylon and Mama Shayla. Daddy Billy couldn't make it. Tummy illness. We missed him fiercely.
The best part for me was when it was time for the cake. Owen's been getting ready for this cake situation for quite some time. He knows how to blow out the candles. And when we told him it was finally and at last, time to have cake, he grabbed me and wanted to sit on my lap, which he did, and they brought in the cake and we all sang Happy Birthday to him and he blew out the candles with great skill and determination. None of those pictures came out, but here he is right after.
He knows how to lick the candles as they come off the cake, too.
He's too young to make a wish so I made one for him.
More. More and more and more.
That was my wish.
And now it's getting on time to Lily's birthday. It was about this time twenty-six years ago that I woke up and lay quietly, feeling that familiar feeling of the uterus beginning it's powerful rhythmic dance. I got up and went outside and sat on the steps and looked up at the stars and knew it had begun. I did not call the midwife or even wake my husband, but waited until I was certain sure.
She was born about five the next afternoon- my shortest labor by far.
I labored in the house and in the yard where Hank and May had built a town in the camellia bushes and played as I walked the perimeter of the yard with Mr. Moon. When it was finally time to deliver her, the midwife and I had to do some fancy steps to get her out. Over ten pounds, that brawny child had her hand up by her head, increasing the difficulty and there was shoulder dystocia but I flipped over to hands and knees and she was born and the midwife had to get her going. It was scary, but then she began to breathe and she was fat and healthy and took to the ninny right away and it was heaven and a miracle and friends were with me and champagne was drunk and pineapple juice and the joy of her cry rang throughout the world or at least, in my heart it did.
The cake is out of the oven. It sits in three pans, tomorrow to be three layers and it is so rich with chocolate and with lemon peel and orange peel, just enough.
It is the season of cakes and of birth and of change of season and of that wavery line which gets so thin at solstice times. The curtain can almost part and glimpses gotten of a woman squatting, of great effort being made, of a woman's face begging for help and I remember that when I finally, finally quit fighting the process and began to chant, "I love you, baby, come on baby, I love you baby, come on baby," she descended and made her way into life.
Sometimes you have to coax that spirit into being not just with blood and muscle and the shifting of bones but with words too.
I don't know.
It worked for me.
Beautiful Lily was born, beautiful Lily has given birth and will do it again.
Good work I did that day, twenty-six years ago.
I hope her cake turns out well. I am so glad she was born. I love her so much, my Lily girl.