Sunday, November 23, 2003

Birthdays redux

Birthday #1. Helena. She seemed happy. I think she was a bit confused about having a bath in the middle of the afternoon, but it induced the nap that allowed to her to party all night.

She had presents throughout the day, including a funky purple Alphabet Pal (English), a wooden puzzle with electronic sounds, and a phone (French).

Most importantly, she genuinely likes the xylophone.

We went to my mother-in-law's for dinner. Cake. She made cake. I said something snippy, and went off for a short cry in the bathroom. If anyone was going to make my baby a cake, it was going to be me. (It had been agreed that store-bought would do.) Not that Helena would particularly care. Sigh. I proceeded to drink much.

The evening was noisy and long. Cake was served well after bedtime. Helena firmly removed the candle and deliberately placed it in my coffee cup. It floats! She was served a generous slice, which was promptly flung to the floor. Vindicated.

Birthday #2. Me. I woke up the next day with birthday wishes from J-F and Helena, which I acknowledged in something of a hungover fog. My sister phoned in her wishes at a respectable hour. I was still sleepy and confused, but I did finally get 'round to believing it:

It's my birthday and I'm 34 years old.

How unimportant. Now, last year's birthday was memorable. A day-old baby in our midst. Very chocolate cake smuggled into my hospital room. Me alternating between intense pain and complete drug haze. Those were the days. And that would be my last birthday. They don't matter from here on in. It's all about Helena now.

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