The bun's first birthday has come and gone, and it was full of loveliness. Now I'm sick as a dog (hence the absence) and trying to come up with something pithy to say about it. We threw a big party for the bun on Sunday afternoon. In many respects we knew that it would probably be the last big party we threw for the bun in which the guest of honor didn't care who showed up. So we invited all of our friends. I made tapas and sangria and ordered a big expensive cake (also knowing that we probably have a future in icky grocery cakes from here on out) so that the grown-ups could have a nice afternoon.
About four families with kids came; the rest were childless adults who were game enough to show up. And while there was plenty of chatter and liveliness, I realized that I have become one of those people who has nothing to say other than that the bun is fabulous. So I meandered from one person to the next, asking questions about themselves so that I wouldn't have to explain in graphic detail that my life was indeed so boring that I couldn't come up with what I had done recently other than laundry.
I have spectacular moments though; they just don't make good anecdotes at a party. Moments that are far more important than the crap I used to do when I got paid by the widget makers; it's just that somehow the American urban cultural environment doesn't look as kindly on familial pursuits as it does on professional ones. So everyone talked about their careers. I remained pretty mum, except to other parents. And because I'm a spaz, I'm sure I offended some of the parents by accident, what with the sailor's blue language I still throw about quite casually.
After the party (virtually no food left, no sangria left either), my husband and I fed the bun a veggie burger, put him to bed, and collapsed on the couch. And then my throat closed up. Within three hours I went from being hostess at a Spanish tapas party to being a complete invalid. My glands popped out of my neck, my lungs filled with garbage, my head began to throb. By midnight I was completely done in, with body aches and coughing fits. The hour of the bun's birth rolled past with me trying desperately to fall asleep despite the shattering of my bones and the aching of my muscles.
The next day was the bun's true birthday, which we celebrated by me sleeping. His pop opened all his presents for him which the bun enjoyed almost as much as the boxes they came in. A little dinner was had (which I don't remember) and then it was time to go to sleep.
We got him ready for bed like any other night. My husband had been baby-wrangling all day because I was sick, and this was the same: he changed his duds, dressed him in his sleeper, wiped his hands and face. And then he set him in my arms so that I could put him to sleep. As he went to the door, he whispered, "Happy birthday, little boy." I looked down at him. There he was, one year older than the little peanut who visited us last year. It's been an amazing year. I began to sing "Happy Birthday" to him. His pop joined in, and the bun sat in my arms looking at us with contentment and just the barest edge of confusion: this wasn't a part of the usual nightly ritual, but it wasn't bad. One stanza, and then lights out. His birthday was over.
It was one of those moments that make lousy anecdotes at parties. But it was the most important part of his birthday, bar none.