I wrote last year when my son turned 1 about some of the traditions we were starting and how we celebrated. We carried on some of those traditions this year, but his birthday felt very different this year…
We still had a celebration and sweet treats and a special birthday book for him. We even added on some birthday traditions such as dumping a ton of balloons in his crib after he woke up and giving him whatever he wanted for breakfast (this year that meant straight up chocolate. I know, #parentsoftheyear… ) We had a much smaller celebration this year due to just getting back from our trip but also due to my grandmother being in hospice.
In fact, as soon as Little guy took a nap to recover from all the fun of presents and balloons we went to go visit my grandmother. It was a really hard afternoon. It’s hard to feel helpless in the face of death, especially after celebrating such a relatively new life still that morning. It was important to do so too, though.
My grandma passed away a few days later. I’m so thankful for the time we had with her. She lived a long, full life. I’ve cried a lot since then and my sweet little two year old has amazingly been there for me. has held my head in his hands and given me hugs and kisses. He doesn’t know what’s happened but he knows his mom has been upset and I don’t think anything has ever made me feel better about my parenting than the gentle loving responses he’s had to me during this time, his sensitivity about the feelings of those around him.
And just as we celebrated him last weekend, I’ve spent some time reflecting on how I can celebrate the life of my Grandma. I’ve given myself ten minutes to cry every day- usually during nap time before I make myself a fresh cup of coffee or tea and then I remember a time I cherish.
I remember making pizzelle or ravioli with her and how she made me love being Italian and all our culinary history.
I remember “running away” to her house when I got in a stupid middle school fight with my mom and being welcomed with a try to the store to buy my favorite magazine and whatever snack my heart desired before being sent back to my mom.
I remember climbing the tree in the backyard of her old house with all my cousins and being called in for cookies or a homemade meal.
I remember her making pies for me to deliver to my high school friends just because she knew they liked them.
I remember face timing with her on my wedding day and being so thankful to be able to see her even though she couldn’t make the trip across the country.
I remember having her meet my son for the first time and how incredibly happy she was.
I hold on to the good things and celebrate them, and then I try to move on and be a better mom when my two year old wakes up.