Mercena’s 1st Birthday Party

1st Birthday(Why am I naming days?)
08/15/15, Day 14,346 (Mercena Day 365): Mercena’s 1st Birthday Party

If I try to capture all of the emotion and memories caught up in Mercena’s first year, I’ll wipe out before I ever get started. Let me ride a smaller wave: a few memories of her birthday itself:

  • Waking up still sick with a sore throat, and worrying about getting through such a big day with so many people;
  • As Mercena nursed in the bed, remembering her first day of life, how she was born over the birthing stool and was lifted up into our arms bawling and bigger than I could’ve imagined, enormous (but really so small), and how we first fell asleep together as a family in our own bed, thanks to the courage and preparation of Heather and the support of our midwife and doula for our home birth (and the scare of the placenta that wouldn’t come out until it most painfully did), and how my gratitude for that home birth grows (and how difficult it will be to ever leave this co-op of so many memories);
  • How on days like this, every present thing carries some memory of the past in parenthesis (even typing this now, I remember those first journal entries and how I felt like I needed to capture every little thing, and regret ever day I’ve missed);
  • Standing with Mercena on the terrace for our morning gratitude ritual and thanking the world not just for the day, but for the year;
  • Rising to find our helper Sandra “MomMom” asleep on the couch as I made the coffee (and how we can never stop using the French Press, even if we fix our old automatic brew, since now Mercena has rituals involving the preparation);
  • How she napped beautifully and let us complete our intense schedule of cleaning (which has now of course fallen into disarray post-party);
  • How my weary and sick self was distracted (by memories, of course) while cooking beans for a taco lunch and I burned my hand to the point of scarring on a pan’s handle;
  • How useless I felt soaking my hand as Allan, Sarah, Nana, and Robert arrived to help us with the rest of the party prep;
  • How ridiculous I looked holding my singed hand in the only position that felt comfortable, a weird elevated claw (and how gleefully my family made fun of it);
  • How at least the burn distracted me from the ache of my cold;
  • Mercena’s arms and legs flapping with delight upon seeing her cousin Robert;
  • How no one makes Mercena laugh as often or with as much delight as her Nana (and how this adds another room in the house of love we have for our own parents–the way they bring delight to our children);
  • The guests arriving, the thrill of seeing who’d made it, the sadness of those who couldn’t, and the regret of the folks we should’ve invited but just didn’t know how the day would go, and how the stress we had feared would be so much less than the love we felt (and then wanted to share with more friends);
  • Holding Mercena’s cake with my hand in a claw to avoid it touching my burns, and her silent wonder at the display of all the people singing for her, and the candles on the cake burning;
  • All the antics of our friends and family–Zach’s juggling song, Isaiah hiding in a blue bag, Amanda’s daughter Maggie scooting around on Mercena’s Radio Flyer (and climbing, oh my goodness, how soon will Mercena be climbing like that?), Ken playing the guitar, Emily carefully preventing Mercena’s attempts to slam her face into her new music table (she eventually succeeded), all the thoughtful gifts people gave;
  • And especially the moving gift of an email address for Mercena that features emails from all the Friends of Flux to be opened on her 18th birthday…I have no words for all these beautiful words (but thank you Shaun, Kia, and everyone);
  • All the pizza! And it was good! But so filling! I am now made of pizza!
  • How deftly we had to weave the bedtime schedules of Robert and Mercena (but we made them work);
  • The speedy clean-up, aided by my hand healing faster than expected (though I do have a cool scar);
  • The game of Settlers of Catan (Cities and Knights, of course) that ended at a reasonable hour, with a triumphantly tied Heather and Zach taking the victory, but everyone in good spirits in spite of our competitive natures; and
  • At last, falling into a deep sleep, full and tipsy and burnt and aching and grateful and happy.

There’s so much more to say about the day, about the year, about our daughter; but it’s another day already, and there’s still a lot of party to clean up.

Published by CorinnaSchulenburg

Artist and Activist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: