A Special Day and Oysters

First of all, I know this is not a "mommy blog", and I don't want to drive away readers, but my blog does feature important family events and what event could be more important than the birth of a child? I'll tell you what - when you have two children who are born on the same day, fifteen years apart! Katie comes with a special food story about her birth that I have already posted. Because of her we have the famous pimento cheese... and so much more. Katie was born after two miscarriages and her birth was so anticipated. Just like I had made a whole wardrobe of clothes for my older daughter Colleen when she was a toddler (by hand, I might add, I didn't have a sewing machine at that time!), I made a layette of clothes for Katie and even made a christening gown from a Vogue pattern. When she came she was a 9 lb 11 oz bundle, the biggest baby in the nursery (at that time you had to have a chest x-ray, and while I was waiting I heard two nurses talking about a little redhead who had this really big baby in the nursery, and it was Katie!)

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!).

So where does the oyster come in? Well it is a food (though not the ones I will talk about), and I think all of us have been it a situation like that of the lowly oyster and I hope that Katie (and maybe some of you) will read this and see the parallels. The oyster lives its life on the bottom of a body of water. It is not flashy like a starfish or a rainbow trout. Day after day it filters water through its body. One day a bit of sand makes its way into its shell, day after day, stressing the little oyster, trying to keep it from living its life,doing what it is meant to do, irritating it. How does the oyster deal with this? Day by day it builds up a protective layer around that stressor, doing its thing, surviving, doing what it has to do. Until one day, when the oyster is opened, a perfect white pearl has formed from what once was an irritating grain of sand.

So keep plugging along, and Happy Birthday Katie and Molly!


ASMO said…
Thanks for your comment on my HKWC blog. I don't get that many, and so appreciate each and every one even more :-)

Your latest post really touched me, as we are expecting our first child this summer and also because I remember my first birthday all alone in a strange city working 12 hour days. My colleagues saved the day by surprising me with a huge bouquet on my desk when I came back from my lunch break. A pearl after all... Happy birthday to your 2 girls!
Kristen said…
Happy birthday to both of your sweet girls. Of course you should post some family posts on here... I can't imagine the type of people a wonderful post such as this would drive away.
I hope Katie isn't too lonely on her birthday and I hope Molly doesn't miss getting to celebrate with her big sis too much.
Have fun!
Shawnda said…
Oh, that was a wonderful story! And a happy birthday to both of your girls.
What encouraging stories about the miracle of your daughters (and oysters)! I hope this year becomes better for the both of them. Congratulations on your two beautiful ladies, and I send my birthday wishes to them!
Sorcha said…
Aw, that's a great story. Tell both your girls Happy Birthday for me.
Gavin Dowd said…
Thats really cute mom!! Love you and keep up the great work!!
Deborah Dowd said…
Asmo- good luck with your baby, it is such a wonderful time and thanks for the good wishes!
Kristen- Glad you don't mind me using this blog to "reach out and touch" Kate
Shawnda- Thanks from both the girls (and me!)
Passionate eater- With one 27 and the other turning 12, they face different challenges, but are always there for each other
Sorcha- I know Katie saw this post earlier today and was really touched by the response.
Gavin- Hi Son! It's great to see one of my kids leaving a comment... and I'll try not to embarrass any of you (any more than I do by my very existence)
Brandon said…
If you're a mom, it's hard not to drift into "mommy blog" territory once in a while. Don't apologize!

Believe it or not, my husband and his youngest sister (also a surprise baby) were born fifteen years apart on the same day too! It's been great to have a sister-in-law from the younger generation (lordy, I feel old!) and shared birthdays are wonderful--even if everyone can't be together.
Deborah Dowd said…
Brandon- That is so cool! For us, it just gives us double the reason to celebrate! And you are right, Kate and Molly are especially close.
Jody said…
Beautiful post! I hope both of your girls had a very special birthday!
Deborah Dowd said…
Thank you so much for stopping by and I am glad the post touched a note. And thanks for the good wishes for my girls!