Long before Sidney gave birth to Sloan, she told me numerous times what her first words to her daughter would be: Happy Birthday.
Although Sloan’s delivery didn’t go 100% according to plan, Sid was still able to make good on what she had envisioned for so long. With Sloan nestled in Sid’s arms, mommy wished daughter a happy birthday. On Saturday, Sid will be able to once again greet Sloan the same way.
Sloan’s birthday is important to both Sid and I. The date is etched in our hearts and is a major milestone for our daughter. As parents, the date is a big deal.
However, at the gym this morning I had a thought that hit me hard. Sloan’s birthday must carry with it so much more significance for Sidney than for me. In fact, I realized that this deeper meaning must be true for all moms when compared to fathers.
It is not that I am insensitive. I like to think there isn’t anything I cherish more than Sloan’s birthday. But, try as I may, March 17 will simply mean more to Sid than me. Here is why…
As I mentioned above, Sloan’s birthday is a milestone for us as parents. It marks the beginning of our daughter’s life. However, for Sidney, as a mom, Sloan’s birthday marks the ending of all the hard work, discomfort, and pressure that came with carrying a child. Likewise, Sloan’s birthday also marks the end of the extremely special relationship that a mom has with her unborn child while he/she is inside of her.
It never occurred to me until this morning that Sloan’s birthday is a cause for Sidney to celebrate not just a beginning but an end. Strong emotions and memories come from both vantage points. As a dad, I can only imagine how Sid feels. Sure, I rode shotgun on the nine month journey with Sid but there is no way I could ever truly know how it must have felt to be in the driver’s seat with a baby inside of me.
Sid’s words will once again carry love and meaning when she wishes Sloan a happy birthday on Saturday. My words will too, just not to the degree of my wife. Don’t Blink.