Friday, July 26, 2013

A Birthing Day Dedication to my Mom

Chris likes to say that we shouldn't celebrate ourselves on our birthdays, we should celebrate our mothers; they're the ones responsible for our birth on that day, after all. I think he came up with this concept, initially, as a way to avoid any attention on his own birthday (which he doesn't enjoy, for some annoying reason) but every time he brings it up it makes more sense to me. Why don't we buy cake and balloons and, more importantly, have a champagne toast for our moms on the day they gave birth to us, an intense finale endured only after hauling us around inside of them for nine months? I'm not implying that I'm going to give up enjoying my birthday every year, but maybe we should have a joint celebration. Is Chris on to something here or is this something that other cultures have already been doing? I have no idea so we're just going with it and starting a new tradition: joint birthday and birthing day celebrations!

Since I literally just started this tradition I wasn't able to get my mom a birthing day gift or card so, instead, I'm dedicating this post to her, to us, on our special and interdependent day.

*Photo from Cindy Goedell

My mother and father, as young parents, kept journals for the three of us kids, documenting our lives from when we were babies till pre-adolescents. 

The entirety of my childhood can be found transcribed in the yellowing pages of three hard bound journals; three biographies I received on my wedding day which now sit as a testament to my parent's love on my refinished dresser. Three books that have moved almost as often as I have: from Texas, to Colombia, to Florida, back to Texas, back to Florida, and, finally, to California. A trilogy that began while I was in the womb, gender unknown . My father wrote, "Most people think you will be a girl"; I would have been named John Carlos had I been a boy.

The bilingual writing on those pages also speaks volumes as to who I am; my mother's Spanish penned in neat cursive fills lengthy entries while my father's English is scrawled in shorter but more frequent accounts throughout the tomes. My mother wrote, "Your mami writes to you in Spanish because that's my native language, English is very hard for me and I don't speak it well, so your papito will always write to you in English and your mami in Spanish. We'll try to teach you both languages simultaneously...". 

I was born on a Sunday morning after several hours of labor. An "easier" birth than most, only five hours. The next day my mom wrote, "The doctor said, 'It's a girl', and I immediately felt that you weren't a stranger, you were exactly Ana Maria, the one you always were, and the one we were all excitedly waiting for". My dad wrote, "You were purple, but soon took on a normal color. You were born with your eyes open". Thirty two years later I'm still exactly Ana Maria and purple is one of my favorite colors. 

So it is with deep appreciation and mushy sentimentality that I wish my mom a HAPPY BIRTHING DAY today, for I would be nothing without her. (And you, too, Papi, but it's just not the same...I'm sure you understand!)

Thanks for reading! Now I'm off to get ready for a weekend in Palm Springs, where the temperature will reach the 100s and you can find me with a cocktail in the pool.


Aurora Aurelia said...

Call me sentimental, but this brought tears for me! I love your parents' tradition of keeping journal "biographies" for each of their kids. Have a wonderful birthday, Ana Maria! <3

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday John, Banana. ; )
I should look at my journal and find out what my "girl name" is.


Ana Maria said...

Thank you Aurora! I love the tradition, too, and plan to do it when I have my own children. :)

Ana Maria said...

Ha! I know that one; based on the journals you're girl name was Ana Maria!

Anonymous said...

Excellent custom to consider your own personal birthday also a birthing day for your mom. I hope it catches on. New cards will have to be designed; the card companies will love it! I understand how it is no where near the same for dads. Another great post from the Best Blog on the 'nets!

Anonymous said...

So if James had been a girl, like everyone but his grandma thought, your name, Ana Maria, would be something else, maybe Caroline Elizabeth. And then Coot would just be, well, Coot!

Ana Maria said...

Keleigh! I was wondering who Aurora was. Thanks for reading :)

Anonymous said...

Awww... I'm so honored!, thank you Nanita, this is a beautiful post and makes me feel special!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birth Day to us!!, my Ana Maria!

I am very proud, and love you very much!!!