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Happy Birthday To Me (Children Mentioned and Seen)

All things of wonder can happen on your birthday. You can randomly choose a bug spray off the shelf at the local CVS on your way to the hike and discover once you smell it that it is the same brand of bug spray you borrowed 24 years ago on a beach camping trip that you’ve been looking for ever since because you loved the memories tied to the smell. I have been sniffing my arm all afternoon and thinking about these huge, empty horseshoe crab shells we found near the campsite.

We spent the morning on the Potomac River. It is my favourite body of water in this world. I know many people cannot imagine being so incredibly attached to a body of water, but when I read Impossible Vacation by Spaulding Gray and he described how his mother went insane after his father scoffed at her attachment to Narragansett Bay and moved her away from the water, I marked the page with a little scrap of paper because that is exactly the same attachment I feel to the Potomac River.

In the same week when I have been panicking over the idea of sending off my son to speech therapy once a week, I found myself wistfully wishing that they were old enough to take white water rafting. I’m not sure what age specialists would recommend taking a child white water rafting, but I’m going to wager a guess that it isn’t two-years-old. But as we were standing at the overlook watching this screaming rapid, I told my daughter when she was older, we would ride over the rapids in the Potomac River–albeit further down river in West Virginia where the water is calmer. And then I thought to myself, “will I have the energy and wherewithal to go white water rafting by the time she is ready to go white water rafting?” It’s this bizarre race where I am ready now, but she is too little. And when she is ready, there will be this small window before I am too old. It feels like I’m standing at the edge of a game of double dutch, trying to perfectly time the moment I jump between the ropes.

Before we started the hike, we gave the twins the option of using the stroller even though I wasn’t certain our stroller would do well on the tow path or walkway to Olmstead Island. Of course they they turned it down. They did fine on the walk out to the island, but asked to be carried on the walk back. I pointed out that they had been given the option to use the stroller. My daughter said simply about her current state of exhaustion and the length of the walk, “but I didn’t know.” That was enough to get her a free ride back to the car in my arms. Because it’s so true. You just don’t know. And you can’t be blamed when you need to change your mind.

I took over twenty pictures of the two of them walking hand-in-hand. I wish I had a best friend who had been with me since in-utero.


1 Michell { 06.02.07 at 6:01 pm }

Those are some very cute pictures. Glad you had a good birthday and I totally understand what you mean about being attached to a body of water. Mine is Cannon Beach, Oregon. I have enlarged photos of it all over my living room walls.

2 DD { 06.02.07 at 6:41 pm }

I’m happy that you enjoyed your birthday with your best friends. I’m sure your children enjoy thinking that you have been their best friend FOREVER.

3 Erin { 06.02.07 at 7:00 pm }

They are absolutely adorable together! Happy, happy birthday–it sounds like it was a wonderful day!

4 My Reality { 06.02.07 at 7:01 pm }

Happy, happy birthday, Mel!

5 littleangelkisses { 06.02.07 at 7:07 pm }

Great pictures! Happy birthday, sounds like a wonderful day!

6 Roy { 06.02.07 at 7:47 pm }

My nephew’s inevitable response to “why should I carry you?”… “because I’m so lazy.” It earns him a lift every time. Children are the best.

7 Sunny { 06.02.07 at 7:51 pm }

Just beautiful! I love the river too. My husband loves it more. We go to Great Falls ALL the time!

Your words “It feels like I’m standing at the edge of a game of double dutch, trying to perfectly time the moment I jump between the ropes.” touched me to the core. Thank you for sharing your heart.

I hope you have a WONDERFUL birthday!

8 Natalie { 06.02.07 at 7:59 pm }

Oh that is so cute! Makes me want b/g twins. πŸ˜‰

Happy Birthday!!

9 Furrow { 06.02.07 at 8:22 pm }

Beautiful pictures. Your babes are completely adorable.

But about the age thing — oh, please! When your daughter is a teenager, you’re going to be too old to white water raft? When you’re in your late forties? I must have misread, because that’s crazy talk. Especially since that’s how old I’ll be when my child(ren) are teens πŸ™‚ These days, I think many people don’t even start to get old until they’re in their seventies.

Happy birthday. You’ve got a few good ones left.

10 Reproductive Jeans { 06.02.07 at 9:09 pm }

Love love love the photos-so cute! I have a lot of memories tied to smell–esp. Jermack(sp?) shampoo–I used that in high school–brings back memories!
Glad you enjoyed your special day with your wonderful family!

11 Carole { 06.02.07 at 9:20 pm }

Happy, happy birthday! Love the pics of the kids walking hands in hands. If they were any cuter it would totally be illegal! I love the ‘I didn’t know’. Man…that’s a good thing for life in general sometimes.

12 Bea { 06.02.07 at 9:34 pm }

“I didn’t know.” Such young wisdom.

I also know what you mean about the smells. I’m glad you had a good day of arm-sniffing, and here’s to many moments where you’re all just the right age.


13 Rachel Inbar { 06.03.07 at 2:45 am }

So cute πŸ™‚ Sounds like a great birthday! Too old? I know how you feel, but there’s something that keeps us young…

Holding hands is SO adorable. That’s the nachat people talk about, I think…

14 May { 06.03.07 at 3:16 am }

Oh! The cuteness, the utter cuteness of those two toddling along hand-in-hand. I think I might explode from sheer admiration.

Beautiful river too. I’m very happy you had a good birthday. You deserved it.

15 ms. c { 06.03.07 at 6:11 am }

Happy Birthday, Queen Mel!
The pictures are beautiful- especially that last one. How absolutely wonderful.

16 andrea_jennine { 06.03.07 at 7:40 am }

Happy Birthday!

17 chicklet { 06.03.07 at 10:04 am }

Love the shots of the kids – super cute. Glad you had a great birthday.

18 PCOSMama { 06.03.07 at 2:05 pm }

Happy Birthday a day late! We spend Saturday ‘on the water’ too – but it was at a waterpark. Still lots of fun, but not quite as beautiful as the river.

Gorgeous pics of the kiddos!

19 Tina { 06.03.07 at 8:17 pm }

Happy, happy birthday, baby!!!

So glad you had a grea time – and thanks for sharing the pictures!

20 The Momcaster { 06.04.07 at 1:21 am }


21 LJ { 06.04.07 at 7:09 am }

Happy birthday again, and I love the pictures. One of my favorite runs was along the trail at Carderock by Great Falls. It’s just breathtaking.

I will say you’re a brave gal, going out in the heat on Saturday!

22 Piccinigirl { 06.04.07 at 7:34 am }

Those pics are wonderful, so cute they make me smile just looking at them. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mel, I hope your day and year are filled with lots of special moments.

23 Somewhat Ordinary { 06.04.07 at 8:19 am }

Happy Belated Birthday! I love the pictures of your children. I’ve always been amazed by twins and have often wondered what it was like to have known someone since your were conceived. They truly have a special bond.

24 Rebecca { 06.04.07 at 8:32 am }

How unbelievably cute they are!

25 serenity { 06.04.07 at 9:04 am }

They’re so damn cute, Mel…

26 DI_Dad { 06.04.07 at 12:43 pm }

Happy Birthday ! I promise to get to the questions you sent me later this week. I hope. Regards, Eric

27 Summer { 06.04.07 at 1:25 pm }

Happy Birthday, Mel!

28 Michelle { 06.04.07 at 10:07 pm }

Happy Birthday, Mel! Looks like it was a perfect day. Thanks for sharing the pictures of your beautiful kids!

29 Jess { 06.05.07 at 12:06 pm }

Catching up here…

Happy belated birthday!!

(And your pics are tooo tooo cute!

30 Dianne/Flutter { 06.08.07 at 2:26 pm }

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY! (I should have known you were a gemini – me too. Actually your b-day is the same day as my sister.) Also, the babes are beautiful.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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