The baby at our house was born at 10:30pm on January 31, 2012, according to the hospital records I checked in our files yesterday. If he was "my" baby I might be posting Facebook status updates right now saying things like one year ago at this time my water broke! But I don't do that... I can't. I was completely unaware of his existence.
Checking my calendar, I see that it was "cluster" night, so I would have gone to our monthly foster parent meeting. It's a chance to catch up with other foster parents, hear what's up with the society, get announcements about policy changes, and often hear from a speaker. I would probably have talked to our worker about the fact that I'd called the placement department the day before and had our name put "up on the board", as they call it. (We got to see "the board" as part of our tour on the day we were approved as foster parents. It's a literal whiteboard on the wall, with age ranges on the left and family names hand-written on the right.)
I had just flown back from Florida a few days before, where my husband and I had taken a relaxing two-week vacation visiting friends and family. He wanted to take a more leisurely way home and visit with some old friends in Pennsylvania, so he was still on the road. He would have been in a hotel that night, and I would have read a book and gone to sleep early to be up with my 15-year-old in the morning, make him a wintry breakfast, and see him off to school.
Somewhere, though, a woman I didn't know was in labour.
Fast forward to today... the big birthday bash is planned for Saturday, but it felt like today, his actual birthday, should be special too. I had a bittersweet feeling all day glad that he's still with us, but sad for his forever family who are missing this milestone. My husband went out and bought some gifts last night, and picked up a small piece of cake (incidentally the same special peach cake we had at our wedding, from a local German place).
Baby was cranky today though, and wouldn't nap. When my teen cake home from school he was in a bad mood too. We decided that it was going to have to be an early bedtime, and the little guy would have to miss the grilled cheese supper that my son was making. We had cake - he ate only a few crumbs - and tried to get him to open presents. His nose kept running and I didn't want snot in all the pictures for his Life Book, but every time I wiped his nose he cried and his eyes got redder and redder. After we played with the toys for a bit I took him up for bed, and it wasn't until I was putting lotion on the eczema that keeps getting worse that I realized he was burning up. I took his temperature and sure enough; between 100 and 101F. He wasn't cranky, he's sick! And on his birthday too. And I didn't even notice.
Bad auntie... no cake for you.