by guest blogger Katherine VanBuskirk
Note: I’m dipping into the archives today because, well…it was a crazy busy and fantastic weekend around here. I celebrated a milestone birthday overflowing with small and big things from some pretty amazing people. It all made me feel like the most blessed person on the planet.
So tonight I’m recuperating – basking in the afterglow of an absolutely wonderful few days. The post below is something I wrote last year on my birthday as we were settling into our new life as a family of four. And every single word rings true to this day.
If you know me, you know that I take birthdays very seriously. If I love you, I want to celebrate the day you came into this world. I mean, what day is more important than that?
I am all about the cake, the party and, of course, the presents. As I've gotten older and wiser though, I have a new outlook on what gifts I value the most. Sure I love a good gift card, or even mani voucher. Coupon for hug? Bring it on! But now, I have to say, it's the gifts I receive every day of my life for which I'm the most grateful.
It's been almost six months with LL. Six months of a being a family of four and six months of parenting two children.
Without a doubt, BK and I went into this with trepidation. We worried that our unmeasurable love for G would inhibit us from loving another child quite as much. Come on. Double the chances that you'd jump in front of a bus for someone? No way. Funny how people can tell you and tell you that your love just grows. Expands. And you can't quite see it until you experience it yourself.
A wise mother and wonderful friend told me something important at one point as I struggled to make sense of my feelings and worried that I wasn't feeling the same for LL as I was for G. She said that you love different children in different ways. Not more or less, but differently and you cherish their lives for the different gifts they offer.
Wow. Light Bulb (as G would say).
It made so much sense. So here, as I celebrate another blessed year of life, and on the cusp of celebrating half a year with all of my people, I would now tell them thank you for the gifts you give me every day.
Thank you BK for your calm, sensible perspective during the hardest times. And for being my best friend, champion and rock.
Thank you G for surprising me every day with how you're growing up – becoming a sensitive boy, with a love of family and loyalty to those closest to you. And for your imagination and sense of humour. You “laugh me up” every day and keep us entertained with tales of all your adventures.
Finally, thank you to LL. My baby girl. The gift you've given us is one of the most important we'll ever receive. You've made us complete. What I know for sure is that our family is closer and better because of you. We laugh and cheer and dance more. And for all the gifts we may have given you, none will ever compare to what you've given us.
So yeah, birthdays are a big deal to me. But even if I didn't receive one call, one email or one teeny present, this day would be the best ever because of these crazy, beautiful people. My people. Happy birthday to me.
Katherine VanBuskirk is a communications professional in Halifax. She is rarely without a latte, a list and at least one of her two children.