Saturday, September 10, 2011

It's Almost Midnight. I'm a Mess.

I just really can't believe that Aidan will be a year old tomorrow.  I know it's not supposed to be any sort of earth-shattering thing, but for me it is.  It really, really is.  I spent sooooooooooo long fearing (sometimes actually believing) that I would never plan a birthday party for a child.  That I would never get to sit in my living room with a kid on my lap and help him open presents while all our friends and family look on and took pictures.

That's always been someone else's role.  Someone else's privilege.  And now it's mine, and I want to savor every last second of it.  After Aidan went to bed tonight, I started decorating for his party tomorrow.  Mickey tablecloth, Mickey confetti, Mickey centerpiece, Mickey plates and napkins.  His two gifts from us and one gift from a friend who won't be at the party.  All adorably matching (or perhaps nauseatingly matching on some level).  Then, I felt the need to take pictures.  I now have a dozen pictures of a dining room table partway-decorated for a birthday party.  For my kid's birthday party.  Seriously?!

I've been thinking about Aidan's birthmom a lot today.  During a visit when he was three or four months old, I remember her laughing and saying she had to stop and think about which date he was born, and how strange that was.  Will she be thinking of him tomorrow?  Will she be missing him?  Will she - like me - be replaying the events of that day in her mind over and over?  Will she hug her kids a little tighter and wish he was there to hug, too?  I have such a strong hope that she is okay and that the day isn't painful for her.

Actually, knowing her, she'll be rejoicing for us.  That's the kind of person she is.  She's been like that from the start.  Happy for us.  Excited for us.  Thinking of us.  Selfless for Aidan and for us.  This is one of those times that I wish she lived closer so that I could take her some flowers and give her a big hug... and have Aidan give her one, too.

Tonight I had to run to the store for a few last-minute things for the party tomorrow.  My favorite radio station (it's country, no hatin'...) had already begun the 9/11 reminiscing and playing appropriate music.  Alan Jackson's Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning came on.  I turned the radio way up and sang along.  Tears came to my eyes.  I remember that day like it was yesterday.  I bet I always will.  I'm not going to rehash it here, because I don't think it's useful for me to do so.  (Nothing at all against those who do feel the need to do so!)  But, I remember.

For the first time, I had to fight feeling guilty for being so excited about tomorrow.  Yes, it's a happy day and most certainly a reason to celebrate and to party like it's 1999.  (What?)  But it's also a somber day.  Suddenly my feelings were mixed.  I processed all of this on the five-minute drive home.  It was chilly and raining.  It was just past dusk.  Headlights of oncoming cars shone bright on my tired eyes, magnified by the raindrops on my windshield.

Then it hit me.  No, not one of the oncoming cars.  Aidan is our little light in the darkness of the memory of that day.  It was dark and rainy in the world that day, and exactly nine years after it happened, a series of miracles took place to change my feeling about 9/11 forever.  A single spark created a light that now shines over my entire life.

A woman labored tirelessly to bring a baby into the world that she knew she wouldn't be keeping.  The delivery went beautifully and the baby was healthy.  The mother selflessly and deliberately chose to continue with her plan to place him with us - her family of choice.  And at last, after so many years of being so afraid I'd never claim the title... 

I became a mother on 9/11.


Anonymous said...

This is beautiful. Every last word of it. Happy 1st Birthday Aidan!!! How much fun are you gonna have?? I had the exact same thoughts that you did before we got AJ. In fact, I had even quit putting up a Christmas tree. I couldn't stand to look at it knowing I would never see wrapped gifts for my child. Every holiday that's mainly for kids, tore me to pieces...I'll never see them hunt eggs, say 'trick or treat' many emotions in all those memories.
But just like your little Aidan, believe it or not, AJ's birthmother's birthday is today also. We will be calling her this afternoon. Today is a good day. Your baby was born on this day and the woman who made me, J & AJ a family was also born on this day. I'll always remember the tragedy of what happened in 2001, but I choose to dwell on the happy thoughts as well. Wish I was there with y'all today. i LOVE 1st bday parties!! Just wait until he's able to say "I want that Mama" with every toy commercial He sees on tv. That's when it's crazy fun. AJ will be 5 in a few weeks and his major gift is hidden in our closet. He loves my iPod, so we were able to get him the LeapPad from Leaprog. It's practially just like an iPad. He is going to Freak out!!! I can't wait!
Sooooo happy for you! I really can't believe he's 1 already! Seriously, this year has flown by!

Monika said...

I found your blog on "Three Cats and a Baby." As a birth mom, even though your son's birth mom has been so supportive, I know her heart hurt on that day. I'm so glad that you're open to having a relationship with her, and that you have a beautiful memory of 9/11 to overlay the sadness of the day (that's how Aidan's birth mom felt on that day too - a beautiful memory to overlay the sadness). What a wonderful post. It was beautiful to me to read your perspective, since my daughter's parents don't have time to blog. :-) Thank you for being so transparent, and though belated....Happy Birthday, Aidan!

Trisha said...

I know I'm a few days late but Happy 1st Birthday Aidan! It's hard to believe it's already been a year. Hope you guys had a great time!