Birthday Traditions | Toddling Through the Silicon Valley | Cheryl Bac | Palo Alto Online |

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Toddling Through the Silicon Valley

By Cheryl Bac

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About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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Birthday Traditions

Uploaded: Mar 7, 2019
On our son’s first birthday I thought it would be fun to take a photo of him at the exact time he turned one. I set an alarm on my phone and took a handful of photos before the minute was up.

I’ve continued this tradition with our girls. We’ve stopped in the middle of a visit to the zoo. We’ve stopped in the middle of a gift shop. And I’ve also taken photos of our little ones napping though the occasion.

I knew, as our kids grew up, this tradition would come to an end. It’s just not sustainable. This year was the first time I wasn’t able to take my traditional photo. I was driving and my youngest was napping when she recently turned 2. I snapped a photo when I parked and, later that evening, I took a moment to really reflect on how our lives changed when we became a family of five.

That night I realized that the photo wasn’t all that important. What I really needed was that moment to reflect on how giving birth changed my life. I needed a moment to remember my birth story.

As our kids grow up, I think about the days they were born less and less. Our kids’ birthdays are now almost entirely focused on their current interests and their current friends. That photo became a reminder for me to take a step back and remember what we were celebrating- a birth. A birth that was exhausting, painful, emotional, and truly amazing. We were celebrating the day that a child was born along with the person that child has become.
Democracy.
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