Ian turned 7-years-old yesterday. I’ve learned that I’ll probably say this every year that I get to celebrate his birthday, but it truly does seem like just the other day that I Jeff and I drove around the block (because I was too fat to walk) and I walked into Virginia Hospital Center to check in at reception for my scheduled c-section.
The nurse had barely gotten us into the room when I started bawling. Poor lady was trying to comfort me thinking something was actually wrong – but there I was just trying to explain to her – in-between deep breaths – that I was just a little (actually, A LOT) nervous because this was my first surgery and um, HELLO, I was coming out on the other end as a PARENT!! Like, if the rumors I heard were true, we would be taking home a real actual human being that Jeff and I would be responsible for not only keeping alive, but making sure that he/she actually made some sort of contribution to society. I still just wasn’t sure I was ready for all that. I mean, when was I going to fit the gym and shopping and drinks out with friends in with all that new responsibility??
After some two-hourish delay because my doc had other issues to attend to, I remember just walking into that operating room, jumping up on the table – okay, well, maybe not exactly jumping – more like waddling and wobbling – and having the anesthesiologist try to make small talk with me about my line of work. Seriously? Do you think I really want to talk about diesel engines when I’m about to go under the knife – oh, and have a kid? I don’t think so, buddy!
But small talk behind me and minutes later, after several odd-feeling tugs and pulls – out Ian came. All 9.4 lbs. of him – along with the doctor’s announcement that it was a little boy since we had chosen not to find out until the birth. (Though, I’m not going to lie – I always knew he was a boy in my mind.)
Many other things about those first days in the hospital are still vivid in my mind: being rolled out of the operating room to recovery and in the hall touching my stomach, expressing my relief at already no longer being pregnant, Jeff making calls to family from the recovery room, my frustration at Ian’s first checkup in the room later that day when I couldn’t focus because I was so hopped up on drugs, our friends and family who came to visit to meet our new son…
To us, that day is so surreal and memorable in so many ways – but mostly, it’s the day we both became parents. For the first time. It’s a day that’s filled with so many different emotions that are wonderfully commemorated on January 10 of every year. It’s our opportunity to relive the wonder of that day – meeting our first child for the first time and all that comes with it.
Of course, each year Ian gets older, what I’m getting is that parents and their children have an equally important, yet completely different birthday experience. While I spent yesterday feeling nostalgic and sentimental about the day we became parents on January 10 to this wonderful little boy, Ian celebrated the fact that this is his special time to be recognized with extra attention and gifts, and parties with friends.
Speaking of extra attention and parental sacrifices (oh, were we not speaking of parental sacrifices? let me bring them up anyway…), being the awesome parents that we are, we celebrated last night by honoring a requested dinner out at Buffalo Wild Wings. There’s one not far from our house that we went to ONCE, like more than a year ago, and low and behold, he remembered all the TV screens with sports and was dying to go back. (Yay!) So, there we were. Ian pleased as punch opening his presents, Elena was whining because Ian wasn’t “sharing” his presents, and as for me, I was returning my glass of wine for a beer because the bottle must have been open at least six months before it was poured. (Oh, and if you think that ordering the “snack-size” wings might be the best way to go if you go to Buffalo Wild Wings while on Weight Watchers – forget it. Seventeen points down the drain. Not counting the beer or salad.) But hey, Ian had a blast eating his mac & cheese and free fudge cake while opening his family presents. Plus, we’ve still got the official Chuck E. Cheese party tomorrow. What’s more awesome than that??
As for Jeff and I? After the party we’ll be celebrating our seven-year parenting anniversary with a babysitter tomorrow eve, which means a dinner out and a winter-ale party at a friend’s house.
Happy birthday to Ian. Happy anniversary to us.