Imbolc. Black History Month. Groundhog Day. Super Bowl. Valentine’s Day. Presidents’ Day. And this year, Leap Day!
From the sacred to the secular to the arguably ridiculous—all depending on one’s perspective—February is full of holidays.
For me, though, it is most notable as the month I gave birth. Twice.
The first time was extraordinary, because … First Time Experiencing Childbirth! Becoming Parents! Wow!
The second time, because birth is always extraordinary. And in our case, it was extra-extraordinary also for its timing immediately following the back-to-back blizzards of Snowmageddon 2010, circumstances in which we experienced the remarkable and humbling support of our UUCC and neighborhood community. (From the recesses of my brain as I started to write here about the details of that experience, I remembered that I’d already written them for you, in February 2020: Snowy Nostalgia.)
It’s a noteworthy month. And anniversaries matter in our bodies and our minds and our hearts. Those humans who were born of my body in Februarys fourteen and eighteen years ago are the most precious people in the world to me. (Their other parent hovers nearby in 2nd place.) I enjoy their company and value their perspective and am consistently amused and entertained and humbled by them. Celebrating them on their birthdays is valuable to me.
Still, the memories of those long-ago February births stand out just as much because of the community of people who surrounded us, ensuring that we were not alone. We would be fed, our dog and older child would be housed, and I would have access to the medical care I needed. (May I do my part to cultivate a world community in which this statement is true for all humans.)
And, of course, those things—the babies and the community—are interrelated in innumerable ways. I’m reminded of one of Kathryn Schulz’s observations near the end of her memoir Lost & Found:
For me, the approach of parenthood has made obvious what is true for all of us, whether or not we ever have children: that we are here above all as caretakers, a role as essential as it is temporary.
Thank you, UUCC, for your care for one another and for this world.
And Happy February, whatever, however, whomever you celebrate!