Monday, April 30, 2012

May Day

In Germany, where my mother comes from, May 1st is a holiday.  There are flowers and Maypole dancing and tree planting ceremonies on this day which celebrates spring's midway point. It is a sweet, sweet day, reminiscent of a more simple time. My mother, the third of fifteen children, never really celebrated her own birth on this special day, nor really on any other day. For her, May Day was just another day to be disappointed by life.

My second child was due on May 1st, 1999, his soon-to-be-Oma's 61st birthday.  I was mildly distressed by this coincidence because I certainly didn't want my child to share a birthday with someone who didn't acknowledge her own life with joy. Of course, since there was little I could do to determine Baby #2's arrival day, I just hoped for an early arrival and, when my water broke on April 29th, I knew I got lucky.   Griffin Hudson arrived exactly one day early, beautifully pink with a hearty cry and a bald head. Unfortunately, his birth was a disappointment to my mother since she had fervently wished that I would have a daughter. You know, a girl as revenge for all the trouble I had caused her during my teen years, trouble I presumably still cause as an adult. At least one of us was happy.

I remember bringing Griffin home from the hospital, driving down Hackett Avenue and noticing that in the 2 short days since Griffin joined our family, everything looked different. The tulip beds in the median had popped and the blue sky was filled with white cottony fuzz from some unknown tree. Spring had arrived with this perfect baby boy.

Although I have considered Griffin to be an old soul since his infancy, today Griffin enters the rank of teenager. It's a weird thing to know that I'm heading to the Wine Bar tonight to work rather than preparing to share a special meal with my boy, but, I know his Dad has things covered. I was fully present the afternoon he arrived 13 years ago and, on his request, we'll enjoy dinner tomorrow, May Day, at Cafe Capriccio. At least there will be someone joyfully greeting the month of May. 


  1. What a beautiful sentiment. I'm sorry your mother is so joyless. It's nice to know that you won't do the same thing to your boys.

  2. Happy belated birthday to your boy! Teendom...

  3. @Margaret - Thank you. I continually remind my boys that we get to choose what we hold onto in life. More happiness comes to those who grasp what gives them pleasure rather than that which makes them bitter.

    @ajw - Thank you for your recent comments around here. I will convey your belated wishes this evening with a glass of cava. For me, that is.