Ideally, this entry would have happened yesterday, on Jurgen's birthday. But, as it turns out, I was having some trouble logging on the the U's computer system and I couldn't access the user part of my blog. Oh, well. Not being able to write about Jurgen's birthday on his birthday gave me more time to reflect.
I suppose it is a little weird for a mother to be apart from her kid on his birthday. At least when it's only his third birthday. When he's 35, I might not think it's so weird, but I when he's three, it's another story.
Of course, what I realized yesterday is that this isn't the first time Jurgen and I have been separated on his birthday. I realized that yesterday, when, as a matter of course, I was driving by the hospital where Jurgen was born. I thought about how strange it was that I was actually in Vancouver on Jurgen's birthday, and he wasn't. Then, I realized that we've experienced this once before.
In fact, although Jurgen was born in Vancouver, he didn't spend much time there right after birth. He was quickly rushed away to Beaverton for his life-saving surgery. I was left in Vancouver to be a mother without a baby.
Jurgen needed me a lot more back then. It was hard to be apart, but at first it was necessary. I was too sore from the c-section to really go anywhere, but the doctor let me out the next day to be with Jurgen. When I got to the hospital in Beaverton, he was crying. The nurse said, "This is one angry baby!" I could tell that she was frustrated. I came over and picked him up, and he immediately gave a little sigh of contentment. He finally had what he was looking for.
So, we've been apart before. And, we'll be together again soon, even if it doesn't feel like it right now. He still needs me, but in different ways. In the meantime, he's got his papa, who is doing a darned good job being a papa.
Although Jurgen definitely wants toys for his birthday--and he's definitely getting those--I think that Jurgen and I have taught each other a great deal about intangible gifts. Being apart this summer is teaching Jurgen about patience and flexibility. He's taught me much about my capacity for love and spontenaity and not taking myself too seriously.
So, happy birthday, Jurgen! As I look back on the last three years with you in my life, I appreciate how much richer my life has become. I love your hugs and your sloppy kisses and your thoughtful sentences that make me wonder where you learned that. I'll save my birthday hugs and kisses for you when I see you.