Thirty-seven years ago I lived in Millington, Tennessee. I was very young. I sat in a room in the Naval hospital on base, awaiting the results of an amniocentesis. The next morning I would give birth to my first son.
What I did know was that I wanted this already-loved new baby to have a blue blanket, something soft, created for him by his mother.
I don't know where that blanket is today. It probably ended up in a dumpster, along with most of the belongings from my children's early childhood, and many of the belongings from my young life as well. Someone said he would bring the boxes north, from Cherry Point to D.C., but that someone never did.
Sometimes I want to remember every detail of the past 37 years, every moment my heart can wrap itself around, to hold those moments close to me, even the hard times and the impossible situations; the hunger and the fear as well as the absolute and utter delight I took -- and still take -- in this boy who is now a man with a brand-new child of his own to care for. A baby girl who has her own pink blanket, something soft, crocheted for her by her grandmother.
We used to joke that Jason's birthday was also D-Day. Now I also remember June 6 as the day my mother died, eight years ago/
Today I do as she taught me: I cut open a paper bag so it will lay flat. I place the cake pans on the bag, I trace around the outside of the pans with a pencil, and then I cut out two paper circles. I put those circles inside the cake pans, then pour the cake batter on top of them. My layers will slide out of their pans, and clean-up will be a breeze. Voila.
It's perfect. It has always been perfect.