I took The Princess to a birthday party today. Not only is A her very best friend, she's the daughter of one of my very closest long-time friends. And I was there when she was born. So, technically, was The Princess who was but a tadpole in my womb at the time.
I was honored when A's mother asked me to stay with her and provide support during her labor. It is such an astounding experience to witness labor and birth. All did not go as planned and there were, in my opinion, things that might have led to an easier birth, but it the entire experience was unforgettable. I tried so hard to be there for my friend and her husband despite my exhaustion from the child growing inside me. I so wanted her to have a positive, empowering birth experience and was frustrated when I couldn't help that come to pass. Eventually A arrived, tiny and perfect and magnificent and I got to hold her right at the beginning and gaze into her astounding eyes. That five years have passed since that night is somehow more astounding to me than the years that have passed since my own children's births and each birthday reminds me how honored I was to witness the birth of this child.