I have been thinking about my years and birthdays, and ever since I can remember my mom always said: “You were born at this hour, whatever many years back“. It used to pass me by, never really even thought about it much, at stages as adolescent, may have been embarrassing at times.
Yesterday our son had his first birthday, and as I got up at 4.45 am, my first note to my wife was, “One year ago, he was still not born“, as he was born at 6 am. She replied, “Yes, that last hour was the toughest of my whole pregnancy!” So firstly as a man, the reference to my birth hour is totally understood now, as at 6 am, 4 June 2013, my life changed forever, but that said, I can only imagine the feeling of a mother, dealing with both the end of a pregnancy and a new baby! Such powerful events, not sure “we” will ever grasp the real magnitude of it.
So at 5.15 am, yesterday, Boeta was placed in front of his home-made birthday cake, video running, so the first 3 pictures are cuttings of the video, and he sat mesmerized, looking at the sparkles, while we sang!
On seeing the bunnies, he went straight for them, faint smile, a current favorite animal and the reason for the theme of the cake. (Note – will do a post of the cake separately)
After this we blew the candle together, fun for all.
This led us to the gifts, and he noticed the change in his playpen immediately. After opening the first two, he took off and first played with his new plastic car, then saw one of his old books, and spent the next 10 minutes paging it. We left him alone until he came back and seemingly felt ready for another gift.
We found that Boeta and maybe other babies too, get overloaded quickly, if you put a lot of new things in front of him, maybe too much to explore or take in, but we leave it to him and allow him the space.
At this point it might be interesting to mention that we did not do any formal party, but it still was a day event, in the sense of opening presents, playing together and finishing off with a barbecue with 2 close friends. Comments about first birthdays that I have read, relate to the fact that babies do not know or remember or parents that celebrate their first year as parents, or surviving their first year and I can certainly relate to all of that.
The question is if you remember picking up your first crumb or holding a toy, first smile, first of most anything? Yet they all become important milestones or events in later development and things we take as granted, like writing. In most cases people do celebrate a first birthday, for whatever reason, and giving a massive party would be a choice, but for us, we focused on being a family (love) and starting new traditions as a family (baking own cake, all hands on deck), thereby an event for all. Boeta’s first contribution to this tradition was…..eating it!