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my baby turns forty

Today my daughter, Anna Elizabeth, turns 40. She was born at 2.30 a.m. May 3 1981 in Vancouver’s St. Paul’s Hospital. Her father and I arrived there May 2 at 9.30 p.m., telling the staff that since it was three days before her due date, what I was feeling was false labour. It was not. We were ushered into the brand new birthing room which looked, said Ed, “like an imitation Holiday Inn.” And there the hard but amazingly fast work began.

Someone posted this on FB: the ten stages of dilation during childbirth. As my friend Hal Wake wrote in reply, “Yikes!” What a @#$ miracle is the female body!

And so 40 years ago today I became someone’s mother, and next Sunday and again in 3 weeks, that someone will celebrate her own motherhood, her first son born May 21 nine years ago with his grandmother – me – in attendance. And on and on goes the human race.

I spent yesterday afternoon admiring the energy of my grandsons. After supper they both slowed down briefly, Ben for a picture book and Eli for a few pages of Harry Potter, before careening out the door again. Thank God for the trampoline, the basketball net, the hockey net, the trillion bicycles and balls, and the alleyway outside their yard that provides yet another avenue to exercise lungs and legs. 

Memory lane: Anna aged 1 1/2, 13, 16, and 23. A certain force of personality evident, always. 

2004. About to separate, to the relief of us both – she to her own home, leaving me to mine. This picture was taken to go with an article about intergenerational marijuana smoking which featured us both, only the older of us tentative.  

One of Anna’s friends posted on FB: “I hope you truly understand how important you are to so many people – the generosity, empathy, and kindness you show to literally everyone you meet is unmatched. You are a wonderful human and I am sooooo grateful to have you in my life!!!”

Me too, my love. Me too.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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