Happy My Birthday - to the Woman who Deserves the Credit
February is birthday month in my family. When we were very young, my mother used to throw one birthday party for the three of us in the middle of the month, to which we could invite two friends each. Good strategy, mum!
Now that I, too, am a parent - of three, even - I look back on the young woman my mother was with a mixture of awe and astonishment.
Imagine, if you will. You are twenty-one years old, pregnant. You give birth in February. Then you do some mommying. Mommy, mommy, mommy. You are a good mommy, too. Mommy, mommy, mommy. You must do some wifing in there somewhere, though, because by May, you're pregnant again! Woo-hoo! And you have baby number two the following February, eight days after your oldest's first birthday. And now you do lots and lots of mommying. Double-duty mommying.
Mommymommy, mommymommy, wifemommymommy. Oops! How'd you let that slip in there? How'd you have the time? Too tired to argue, I'm thinking, and now it's May, and you're pregnant AGAIN!! And the next February, along comes baby number three, ten days before your oldest's second birthday and 18 days before your second's first birthday.
Four months before you turn twenty-five, you are the mother of THREE children, the oldest of whom is TWO!!!
You know, I'm thinking never mind the birthday card for ME. I'm thinking that in about the middle of February, my brother, sister and I should get our mother something. Like a medal. Or a certificate of gratitude that she didn't lose/throttle/forget/maim one of us in the blur that must have been those early years.
So, for my birthday, Mum?