Friday, December 9, 2016

A Middle Child's Birthday

Yesterday was Victor’s second birthday. We had celebrated this weekend with family and friends, cake and presents. I was feeling really unsentimental about the whole thing. I’m NOT a fan of one-year-olds, so I was looking forward to putting the year behind us (in fact, I have another post I’ll be sharing about Why I Hate One Year Olds).
 

 

Nonetheless, I was planning on taking off early so I could spend the day with him.
I was planning on making him another cake so he could blow out the candles again on his actual birthday.
I was planning on wrapping his present, which we had saved so he had something to open on his birthday.



But then life happened. I got bogged down at work and couldn’t justify leaving early. After all, I had already missed a couple hours earlier in the week due to a car breakdown, Louisa has a dentist appointment next week and the boys have doctor’s checkups the week after.

As I rushed to pick up the kids in our borrowed Astro-Van at 5:00, my mind was racing with the rush of the next hour. I’d have to half-ass clean up the house before Grandma and Grandpa came over for birthday dinner.  I had forgotten to pump milk again. Nate was bringing pizza from the brewery, but we should try to throw a cake together. Could I sneak upstairs to wrap his present? Screw it, the box was way too big, and I didn’t buy wrapping paper anyways.

As I loaded them out of the Astro-Van, Vic started screaming and flailing around over GodKnowsWhat. Lou was upset because she didn’t want grandma to come over. My mind was ticking off all of the other ways I’ve failed this week: I really wanted to teach them about St. Nick and totally forgot to buy anything to fill the stockings. They haven’t had any fruits or veggies at home since we haven’t grocery shopped in weeks. Oh, it was the Immaculate Conception today, too…another Holy Day of Obligation forgotten. The Christmas tree stands unadorned. No lights outside the house. I need to get that paperwork filled out for the bank.

The plight of a working mother. Blah, blah, nothing new.

I’m a realistic person. I know that Victor’s only two. He’s not going to remember any of this. I can fill the stockings next week and just tell them about St. Nick then. In time, I’ll get to the grocery shopping, the paperwork, the decorating. I can deal with the stress.

But he’s my middle child. I am a middle child. I know the jealousy he’ll feel one day when his big sister gets to do things before he does. I know the resentment he’ll feel when his little brother gets away with mischief just because he’s little. I just want him to know that I’d scale mountains for him….even if I wouldn’t take off work early.

And yes, a lot of it is selfishness….the ongoing mourning over the type of mother I’d like to be.
We get through the little celebration. I only have one candle left, but he loves blowing it out anyways and scarfs up his oven-fresh cupcake. He doesn’t care that his gift (a train table) isn’t wrapped or put together. He’ll just play with the trains on the floor. Lou has another break-down because she doesn’t want Grandma to leave. Eventually everyone is tucked snug in their bed and I’m left with my thoughts.


I thank God for my two year old. I thank Him for my job and the ability to help support my family. I pray for perspective and humility. That’s all I can muster for tonight, so I lay my head down. Tomorrow’s a new day.

 

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