No, it's not my birthday--rather, it is the anniversary of the first time I gave birth which, in my opinion, not only qualifies me for as much cake as I want, but some sort of medal.
But today is a different sort of birthday for me. Today, officially, I have become the mother of a teenager.
A teenager! Aww.... when did I get so old? Was it the other night when my husband and I were watching Modern Family and we realized we identified with sitcom parents now better than those ridiculously attired sitcom kids? I dunno... maybe. But it seems just moments ago Dr. Haas proclaimed "It's a girl!" and, with the good doctor's proclamation I suddenly remembered that which I'd been striving to achieve over the preceding 24-1/2 hours. (For those of you who have gone through long and difficult labors, you know that there comes a point when your consciousness becomes removed from reality; a moment when you cease to give cognitive credence to the fact that there is a reason for this excruciating exhaustion and that, contrary to all reason, you yourself were partially responsible for bringing such agony upon yourself. But then it's over and--oh, BLISS!--"It's a girl!")
Miss Delaney Olivia came into the world at 4:37 a.m. , July 31, 1997 and my heart was lost--forever doomed to travel the world outside my body, as the saying goes. And what a trip it's been so far! Delaney has grown from a cartoon-voiced Olsen Twins look-alike (think Full House Mary-Kate & Ashley , not rehab Mary-Kate & Ashley) to a funny and intelligent burgeoning beauty; a lovely young woman-child whose sly wit and love of/obsession with books (don't know where she gets that!) makes me smile and challenges me to grow.
And today, she's a teenager. Oy.
With only 365 days in a year, we all share our birthdays with a multitude of Someones. (Among the faceless horde I share mine with actor Don Johnson, which was really cool when I was in 7th grade, but... not so much now.) My Delaney is no exception. First of all, she was born on her Grandmother's birthday, which is about the coolest birthday present you could EVER give your mom (Dave's mom, actually.) But we have since learned that Miss Delaney shares her illustrious date of birth with two wonderful and terribly famous individuals; two people (though one is the fictional creation of the other) who have played a huge role in Delaney's development as a reader and a thinker.
In 1997, Delaney was born. And so, for all intents and purposes, was Harry Potter. Though his year of "birth" is generally thought to be 1980, no one but his creator got to hold that lightning-bolt scarred baby until the first installment of J.K. Rowling's epic series was published in (wait for iiitttt...) 1997. Yep. 1997. How cool is that? And the coolness of my girl's special day just keeps getting better. Ms. Rowling herself shares Delaney's birthday. And when did Harry receive that first, life-changing summons to Hogwarts?
On July 31st.
His eleventh birthday.
I'd say my daughter is in pretty good company. Grandma V, Jo, Harry, and Delaney.
And here you thought it was just another Saturday.
Though I was already a devoted fan of the talented Ms. Rowling, Delaney first read Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone at the age of 10, in fourth grade. From that point on there was no turning back. For a girl who had yet to become addicted to the power of the written word, J.K. Rowling's series not only lit a love for literature within my girl, it sent it straight to Super Nova.
Now about to start 8th grade, Delaney's love for these treasured tomes has not decreased. She has read the entire series forward and backward more times than I can count. (okay, forward a bit more. Backward only once to my knowledge. really. she did. Delaney read the books in backward order: 7,6,5,4,3,2,1 one time so she could 'catch more clues' that way.) My little firstborn has become one of the foremost experts on all things Potter.
I am so proud!
So as we're eating our treacle tarts and drinking our butter beer and pumpkin juice (or birthday cake and ice cream as the case may be) this evening I'll be sending warm happy birthday thoughts across the ocean to Jo in Scotland and to Harry... on my bookshelf.
Happy July 31st, everyone!