Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Elsbeth

On this day two years ago I was tearfully begging someone to give me DRUGS, anything, hit me in the head with a hammer, just MAKE THE HURTING STOP!  And then sometime around five o'clock, after 15 hours of labor, I summoned reserves of strength from somewhere unbeknownst to me and with my Mother holding one leg and my Husband holding the other, I shot Elsbeth Asher Hayes into the bright, shiny, world of people.  And then I nearly passed out.

My first memories of the moments following her birth are the comments everyone made proclaiming their astonishment at her incredibly pointy head. And to them I said, hey I challenge you to spend more than five minutes in my birth canal and see if you don't feel a little cramped.    And when asked if I wanted to see her, what did I do?  I asked to see the placenta.  And no, we did not eat it OR bury it.

The past two years have a way of seeming like an eternity that has sped past me faster than I can comprehend.   This amazing child has taught me so much about love and what it really means to live and I cannot imagine my life without her.

Her love for animals rivals that of my own as a child and last week we had to explain death to her after her beloved hamster Toodles died.  It brought me to tears every day as  she would spontaneously kneel down, fold her hands and ask God to make Toodles feel better.  Then she would tearfully look up at me with those huge, doe eyes and tell me she prayed for Toodles.  How do you explain the hard facts of life without your own heart breaking in the process?  I told her that if I could make him better, I would, but that's just not how it works and sometimes animals and people don't get better, but they DO stop hurting.

The joy she has brought into our lives is indescribable and Jeremy and I marvel over it all the time.  We agree that it's alot harder than we imagined, but so much better too.  He has to tell me to let her sleep in the morning because I can't bear to be up without her luminous presence to light my life.  

I view our lives as waves on a beach, and one generation ushers the next one in.  Parents are the guides that show their children the how to live before moving on.  I am honored to be chosen as her guide and relish in the moments when I can teach her life's lessons and pass along things that were dear to me as a child.

Tears filled my eyes as I read the night before Christmas to her and explained who Santa Claus is.  Her shouts of joyful recognition when she spotted him at the mall a few days later made my heart swell and I had to agree with her that no, Santa does not want you to pick your nose.

Today she turns two and she is pitifully sick.  So, I am forsaking most of the plans I had for a raucous birthday celebration and we will curl up on the couch together and watch Rudolph with our glasses of orange juice.  

Elsbeth, you are the best Christmas present I could have ever asked for.   I love you.


Charlotte said...

Awwww. Happy Birthday Elsbeth!

My mother in law thinks that birthday gifts should instead be given to the *mother*, who actually has memories of that day. So happy 2nd anniversary Jillian.

Lauren said...

I just teared up reading that post Jill... she is such an amazing little girl and wise BEYOND her two little years. The same way you and Jeremy feel the joy she brings to your lives, she will realize how blessed and lucky she is to have you both as such kind and wonderful parents.

Amanda said...

It is not hard to make a pregnant woman cry, and I am bawling like a child. Elsbeth is so lucky to have you as a mother. She is every bit as beautiful as you inside and out.

I miss you and your family and am sending out all the love I can to you all today. Happy Birthday, baby Ellie. Hope to see you soon.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Elsbeth!