Our Third First

The Third First


On Nora's first birthday, we took her to a park in Richmond for the day. I hosted a birthday party here and one in Ohio.  Both of which were carefully planned to start between nap times. I made decorations to go with her Sesame Street theme. Unwilling to let her have "so much sugar", I made an applesauce cake, which the guests ate politely. My mom and dad were visiting for Gray's first birthday. We all went to Monticello in Charlottesville. Though Gray wasn't entranced by the house tour, the shuttle bus and sprawling grounds thrilled him. He only had one party.

Lily's first birthday is coming fast, and I feel like I'm just trying to fit it in the midst of Nora's end of school celebrations and Bubba's hay season. We haven't picked a party date with either side of the family, and I don't know even what theme to use for a party. I only have a few small presents stashed away.

Our family's third first birthday will not be an extravaganza.

And I'm trying not to feel guilty for that.

When Nora was a baby, I was a mess. I was surprised by how much motherhood had shattered me. I wasn't even sure I wanted any other kids. Obviously, I've changed my mind. I've slowly learned to embrace and to thrive in my maternal existence. Some days, I think I'd love to have eight kids, like my grandma did. Others, I wonder what in the hell I am doing with my life.

Most of the time, though, I'm content. I'm settled. I'm whole. I'm happy. I was none of these things when my first one turned one. Lily may not be having a party of the century or a room full of gifts, but she is getting a better me. Isn't that a better birthday?

As one third child to another, I wish my youngest child a happy birthday with all of my happy heart!

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