We are back from vacationing on a most untropical island – one that still managed to leave us covered in dirt. It was that kind of holiday, where everyone was able to run and climb and explore and yes, get filthy, just like when we were kids. I’ll share more about that later this week, but today we are on the fifth of seven loads of laundry and today we are celebrating Henry’s 3rd birthday. Today I also received the proofs for a book about prematurity in Canada, since it is going to feature the piece I wrote a couple of years ago about Henry’s birth and the laundry. So it just seemed fitting that I take a few minutes to write this quick post and share that laundry piece again – in the spirit of Mother’s Day and Henry’s birthday, and in the spirit of finding meaning in the most mundane of tasks, the laundry.
You can read that story here: 'A preemie's mom gets serious about laundry', The Globe and Mail
We have been so grateful for all those who have poured into Henry’s little life. Henry has a whole virtual village of people who have prayed for him and followed him and loved on him since that very first day when my water broke at 25 weeks and Henry’s safe little world became a very dangerous one. A couple of weeks ago, I did a presentation about prematurity for a parenting class and I could not believe how tiny Henry was in those pictures. I lived it, and I still don’t believe it. I can’t believe that this enormous, energetic and enthusiastic boy is that same little creature in the box. As trite as it is to say, he is a miracle. His birthday will always be a little bit traumatic and a whole lot triumphant for me. He’s a shining example of what can happen when we pour a whole lot of love and prayers and expertise and tax dollars into saving the tiniest of tinies, the least of these.
I get to celebrate Henry’s birthday at the same time as Mother’s Day each year. And the first weeks of May are already so full of new life and promise, that it’s always a great reminder of the beauty of joyful expectation. My garden looks just like it did, suddenly all wild and bursting with colour, when I came home after my few days in the hospital. The sun is shining, spring has sprung and today is a good day, despite all the laundry. Henry’s extraordinary neonatologist called this morning, right on schedule, to wish him a happy birthday and to reminisce about our almost five months together three years ago. Then Henry's godmother, Auntie Wonton, with whom Henry gets to share this birthday, called to sing to him. Nana came over to join us for birthday pancakes at McDonalds (our classy new birthday tradition). And this big boy has been walking around singing his favourite song, Happy Birthday, to himself. So many feelings.
So, today we are celebrating him in small ways while we recover from traveling and while we dig ourselves out from under the mounds of laundry. And later this weekend and next week we will celebrate in bigger ways, with family and friends. Thank you for continuing to celebrate our miracle with us. He is such a lovely reason to celebrate.
Kari Raymer Bishop
Lover of Jesus, cheeses and tropical breezes... seeking balance in life, even as I embrace new challenges and chase new dreams. I am wife, mother, daughter and friend, as well as teacher, entrepreneur, activist, writer, beekeeper and hostess. Come along on the journey through my long-awaited midlife crisis!