Birthday Eves: The Most Bittersweet Nights of the Year

I don’t believe I understood the definition of bittersweet in it’s entirety until my kids started having birthdays. As much as I cringe at the thought of my babies getting older, it is SO fun to see them grow into fun, new stages.

(And, like, feed themselves.)

Gus turns four, and it’s one of those bittersweet, birthday eve nights. I surrender my self control and browse baby photos while crying and eating chips (and Tums, this year).

Dads don’t get like this, right?

Maybe it’s because women are more hormonal.

Maybe it’s because dads don’t save 12,094 photos on their phones.

Or maybe, for me, it’s because four years ago right this second, I was experiencing one of, if not the, most magical, exciting nights of my life. I was about to become a mom…a completely unknown identity.

Four years ago at this exact moment, I was well into an almost sixteen hour labor that was a whirlwind of emotions.

My water broke that late morning, and since I’d already been sent home from triage a few days before, I questioned the source of the fluid for a while…

I ate a tiny bit on the way to the hospital, but I was too nervous.

I loved being hooked up to a monitor in the hospital to hear his heart beating all night.

The anesthesiologist was a family friend, I loved my doctor and nurses.

My mom brought pumpkin cookies to everyone, and I was starving and jealous.

Only Brian and I were in the room when I had Gus. It was the most peaceful moment of my life.

When my doctor placed my seconds old baby on my chest, that was it. I was a mom. I was one of those women who instantaneously loved. I obsessed over him. I was shocked that this actual human had been inside me this whole time, but I felt like I’d known this baby forever.

After a long labor, Gus was pretty banged up. He had a swollen eye that didn’t open for about five days…but I thought he was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Ever. In my life. (Brian later said he disagreed, which makes me laugh hysterically when I look at Gus’s brand new, cone head, bent nose baby photos from the hospital. He became the beautiful child I saw him as a few weeks later. 😊 )

This boy has been THE happiest, agreeable, easy going, hilarious best buddy. He is kind. He is gentle. He is SUPER physical, and that spills over to all aspects of his life. He’s a runner, climber, toucher, kisser, and cuddler. He is friendly and social. His memory and sense of direction leaves me speechless. He worries about the happiness of the people around him, and if he questions your mood, he’ll directly ask you if you’re happy.

He WILL make you laugh.

He is just learning how to play WITH friends, rather than side by side.

He loves all sports (he refuses to narrow it down when we ask), “emergency vehicles,” hanging out with boys that are five years older than him, his finger in his nose, the beach, snail and lizard catching, cleaning supplies, has his daddy’s sweet tooth, loves salty olives, pickles, and capers like his mama, and is best, best, best buddies with Roscoe.

We are so happy to celebrate my no-longer-toddler Gus all day.

I can’t wait to spend another year with Gus leading the way, teaching me all the unknowns of motherhood I have yet to experience.

A few of the photos that bring the water works because Gus has always just been so GUS:

About to have Mr. Gus right here.

You may also like


  1. Do you remember….yes we remember….us at a hotel waiting, waiting for THE phone call! We rushed over to see the newest Great Grandchild! It was worth the wait. Soooo cute. when asking the name….and was told it is GUS. I said very quietly, Gus, Gus? (I, thinking the only Gus I knew was Gus Gus the mouse!) when I looked at the tender parents I said ” I love it!” And I did, and I do. He is sooo cute. How fun these great grandchildren can be. I recommend getting older!

Care to Comment?