Every year on my babies birthdays, I tell their story. I share what I remember happening in those moments on the day they were born. I perpetually sit in two places at once on these days: in the present in awe of the growth and person, and also in my memory, reliving how they became a separate person. That incredible day each started existing alongside the family, no longer tethered safely to my body.
We get wrapped up in the celebrations of birthdays, and I love them.
I love gathering.
I love the community.
I love the love.
And I love remembering.
As a mother, I hold things constantly: I hold people, blankets, snacks, dates, and memories. I hold them all, and on these days, I get to share them with my kids, look them in the eye, and thank each for picking me to be their keeper.
I appreciate my role, and I respect my children so much. After losing a parent, my time seems laughably short with these lovable people - one day, I know, they will feel the same way about my passing. It has felt like a morbid joke I was finally let in on - it isn't "why are we here?" It's "who are we here for?" The race, the day-to-day, the script - they all have been twisted.
So every year on my children's birthdays, I tell them about their birth. I tell them about the place, the feelings, and the choices we made waiting to welcome them here. I tell them about the people who loved their father and me so well while we were waiting to meet them. I tell them about the medical staff who were great, and not great. I tell them about how I fought for them to come in a way I knew was their way. I tell them I have known them far longer than I have met them. That I dreamed of them, talked to them, and ached for them for ages before holding them outside my body.
My life has a beautiful and unique purpose, and I have loved discovering it year after year since the time I was a child. I have been brought up knowing I am unique and incredible, and I know my power in part is the story of my becoming.
I am lucky, and my children are lucky to have this origin story available to them. They have an anchor, a truth, deeply rooted in love and belonging.
I see it.
I feel it.
I do not take it for granted.
I know that as they get older, I'll be able to share more and more details with them, always focusing on the intuition and communication they had with me on that day. Still focusing on the magic. Always focusing on the power. They were aware before being aware. They were in their bodies, while in my body. And since the day they were born, they both have confidently moved through the world, as beloved beings learning about how they will come further into their own. I am so looking forward to supporting them as long as I can.
I am so glad to take part in the heartbreaking and life-affirming role as their Mother.
Happy birth day, sweet ones.
Written by Ariel Swift
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Ariel Swift (she/her) does most of the writing around this blog, but we love having guest writers and visits!