Last night, as I hung balloons and set out cards, I remembered a phone call I had meant to make. I dialed the number, asked for Emilie, and waited. I was kept on hold for a while, so I continued hanging the birthday banner and filling loot bags until she picked up.
I told her this might be strange, and a little unusual, but I explained how we had met. I told her I was looking at a picture of her holding newborn Summer, and that I wanted to thank her for all she did for us in the middle of the night two years ago.
"Let's give a little practice push and see if we can't speed this along," she had said. I obliged, bearing down and pushing as best as I could. I was scared. We hadn't made progress in hours and I feared I'd end up in an operating room when all my instincts told me the baby was fine.
"You can stop pushing now, okay, no, stop. Oh! This is happening," she said. "Here she is!"And that is how we met Summer, our youngest, fastest, funniest little lady zoomed into this world via the quick hands of our attending nurse, Emilie.
Emilie told me she remembered our family, and told our story often. It's not every day that a nurse gets to deliver a baby. I was so touched she remembered, so I made plans to bring Summer back to the hospital to meet the first hands to hold her.
In the meantime, we celebrated Summer's second birthday just the way she likes it: with cake, swimming, balloons and people who love her very much.
It took some cajoling and some magic from my step-mom to get Summer into her party dress. Two-year-olds do not like to be told what to wear, but they can be persuaded with open access to the fruit platter, (so long as they can sit atop the table).
She's the fourth baby, so she had sweets well before her first birthday (in fact, I think her first food might have been whipped cream). She has since developed a fierce sweet tooth. Her eyes light right up when I mention the words: cake, dessert, ice cream, cookie and treat. I mean, check out her face as I present her cake:
She got right to work on those two candles.
She very clearly understood the celebrations were for her, and that is what warmed my heart most today. She smiled big and bright every time someone wished her a happy birthday, or told her she looked beautiful in her dress.
Kid birthdays are such a great medium to view unadulterated joy and self-love. Indulging in cake, hearing everyone say they love you, opening gifts and bringing them to your room afterwards, one last happy birthday sung as a lullaby at day's end. My girl felt the love, and I was so happy to have occasion to gather those who love her most.
Thank you to everyone who has lifted her up with love, from nurse Emilie's first catch to those with her today, and sending love from away. Thank you.