Today is my daughter’s 23rd birthday and I am physically with her. I arrived yesterday at midnight. She picked me up, and said Aren’t you going to wish me happy birthday?
It has been a while since I don´t spend a birthday with her. The last time was when she turned 18th in high school and I went to her classroom during Physics class dressed up as the cat in the hat, and read Oh the places you will go, and the poem of Pablo Neruda Hoy que es el cumpleaños de mi hermana . My voice got broken with this poem, since our son was in the States, and I was missing him dearly. While I was reading I glanced at her classmates, and saw a couple of girls drying her tears, and some of the boys looking at me in dismay. —Oh,oh— I thought— Now I really messed things up.
But I have brought a cake, sodas and birthday hats. They were running around like kindergarten kids. Later my daughter told me that she felt a little bit embarrassed but her classmates could go through anything for food and skipping Physics.
I don´t know exactly what are we going to do today. The year she left for college my celebrations of her birthday have been virtual.
When she turned 21, I made her a booklet that it did mortified her a little bit. I spent quite a few hours making a book for her in Story Jumper. I shared the link in Facebook very excited. The link passed unnoticed that day and the followings. When you turn 21, the least you are worried about is your mom´s birthday wishes. I sensed that and the following Christmas I printed the book and mailed it to her place since we were going to spend winter holidays at her home. I had put too many hours on that book to get it passed ignored without glory or pity.
When the package arrived, she opened it nonchalantly without asking me, and decided to place the booklet on her chimney for all her friend to see how weird her mom was. When I arrived, she greeted me with a grin and told me What were you thinking ,ma? Who in the world would like to see a bloody baby (literally) on the cover of a book, let alone your boobs???
—Oh! Well, Merry Christmas, guati. That was your Christmas present—I answered.
In the cover of the book, I had put a a photo of her arrival to this world, still tied to me by her umbilical cord. Inside the book was a photo of me breast feeding her. Ooops.
Despite everything, I love those photos. They remind me of motherhood in the early stages when everything is very physical and intense.
When Matilde turned 19th, I made these ABCs on PowToon
Everything started when I made her a book called “The days of your birthdays” inspired by Cynthia Ryland’s Birthdays Presents (1991) when she turned 8.
My birthday’s stories are complete, now is her turn to continue them.
But that’s another slice.