Fifteen years later, despite my best efforts to not have her on Katie's birthday, Molly was also born on April 3. Molly was a little surprise baby, born when I was thirty-nine, but it only took a day before Kate forgave me for ruining her birthday. When we brought her baby sister home and Katie held her, there was a bond formed that surprised us all. It also started a tradition of the double Dowd birthday. Over the years these parties have alternated from small family gatherings to large and loud dance parties(including some where I remember Kate and her friends dancing on chairs singing Man I Feel Like A Woman!), but always the girls had celebrated together. Until this year. For the first time in 27 years the Dowd sisters will not be together for their birthday. As I have said in this blog before, Kate is becoming a nurse anesthetist, and she is on an out-of-town clinical rotation. We had a birthday dinner for Kate this past weekend, and this year we will celebrate Molly's first by-herself birthday.
I will get to hug Molly, make her a special cake, and we will blow out candles and open presents, but Kate will be in a strange city with no family with her. She has had a tough year- she has had an emergency appendectomy, been rear-ended in her car....twice...all while working through one of the toughest health sciences graduate programs there is. Twelve -hour clinical days, preparing for a comp exam, and writing a paper, while living in a strange city doesn't make for a very happy birthday... especially when your birthday is usually a huge family event with your favorite foods (not to mention people!).