Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Two birthdays February 9, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Amber and Caleb. Minnesota Prairie Roots cell phone photo December 2016.

Amber and Caleb. Minnesota Prairie Roots cell phone photo December 2016.

TODAY AND TOMORROW, two of my three children turn another year older.

Now that they are adults (the daughter an hour away, the son in Boston), birthday celebrations have changed. I will celebrate belatedly with Amber by babysitting my 10-month-old granddaughter while she and her husband dine out. We’ll have a chocolate tofu pie upon their return, my contribution to the mini party.

As for Caleb, I hope to connect with him via Skype or a phone call. He’s young and single, less inclined to understand the need his mother has to talk to him on his birthday. At his early twenties age, friends take priority. No surprise there. I was once young.

Amber in 1986, sometime during her first year of life. The photo is not dated. A friend told me she looked just like the baby on the Gerber baby food jars.

Amber at six months.

Not that I was a young mother. I wasn’t, having given birth to my first daughter at age 29 ½ and to my son eight years later with another daughter in between.

Motherhood shifts behavior and thoughts to a primeval need to nurture, protect and love our children. And as the years pass, that never changes.

For his eighth birthday, Caleb's sisters created a PEEF cake for their brother.

For his eighth birthday, Caleb’s sisters created a PEEF cake for their brother.

My children’s birthdays bring now a certain melancholy in that I miss them and birthday dinners out followed by the ritual of singing “Happy Birthday!” and then eating the homemade dessert of their choice, not always cake.

But this is the logical progression of parenthood—this move of our children toward independence, beginning at birth.

Today and tomorrow, I will honor my youngest and my oldest by thinking of them, their lives and the blessings they have given me as their mother. I love them deeper than the ocean, higher than the skies. I will always love them and encourage them. They are of me and that connection binds us always on their birthdays.

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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20 Responses to “Two birthdays”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Happy Birthday to your two! It is always fun to remember those birthdays past. They were always a big deal in our family as well and I always tried to make them really special days. Aren’t we so blessed to have those wonderful memories?

  2. The HAPPIEST of BIRTHDAYS to them both!

  3. pkpm519 Says:

    Twin siblings, Bob & Betty were born the day after my 3rd birthday…and so throughout the years we celebrated our birthdays together. That was just fine with me. Last year, Betty decided that I needed to celebrate my 70th birthday with a “party of my own!” So, she and Bob , and another sister Carol, threw me a surprise party and even put ads in the newspaper! Since I live in St Paul and Betty and Carol live in Kenyon, I didn’t see the notices in the Faribault Daily and the Northfield News. Bob picked me up and we headed to Kenyon, as we did at least several times a month. It was a real surprise…the party was in Kenyon on August 29th. And my 70th birthday was actually November 6! Now that’s a surprise! Emily (Sorem) McNeill

  4. Littlesundog Says:

    What a sweet post, Audrey. I notice with my own sisters and my sister-in-laws that it is difficult as their children age, they miss celebrations and bonding time. The men/dad’s in the family don’t talk about it as much but I wonder if they miss the time with their kids on these special dates?

  5. Jackie Says:

    It certainly is different isn’t it! Our children’s BIRTHdays will always be etched into our hearts… I love this quote by Elizabeth Stone.
    “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” Isn’t that the truth! Happy birthday to your 1st & 3rd. Enjoy your time with that grandbaby 🙂

  6. Don Says:

    A great big Happy Birthday to Amber and Caleb!

    A Childs Birthday has always been a special day for our family and we maintain the cake and ice-cream tradition to this day even though the kids or as I call them “Adults in training” are 28 and 22 years old. I am lucky in that both kids live in the same town making birthdays much easier. We may have to postpone the actual birthday celebration to the weekend due to various work schedules but we celebrate them just the same. I will certainly miss these events when they move to new locations and I move back to the Midwest however, from the Midwest area most other areas are easier to get to when compared to Alaska so perhaps we can make something work. At every birthday I have asked people to make a “special memory” in their mind of the event, be it the weather, cake, a special present or just family time. Then in the future when perhaps some of us are not around they can retrieve that ‘special memory” and reflect back on it. I know it’s kind of a sentimental thought but time flies past us at an alarming rate so its important for future times…………………..

  7. Valerie Says:

    I so enjoy family celebrations and traditions. Happy Birthday to two of your kids.
    I always like to remind the mom about the day of their child’s birth too…to see if there are any special stories from that day.

  8. Sue Ready Says:

    Nice tribute to your children and I canspeak from personal experience you make a GREAT chocolate tofu pie

  9. Happy birthdays to your children


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