Monday, July 31, 2006

Too Much Birthday?

Julia's turned eight. It's hard to believe. Really, it is. My good friends Linda Pratt and Alice Gray came out to the farm for the big celebration. Cathy Payson was supposed to be here too but a business trip to NYC interfered. You may recognize these girl's names. Linda, Cathy and I worked together at Classic Elite for over ten years (or so???). Knitting drew us together. There are a lot of sweater patterns out there floating around with our names on them. We met Alice through knitting too - she is an amazing knitter and knit sample garments for us at CEY and designed some sweaters for our pattern collections. These girls have been with me for the long haul. (What is it with the knitting friendships??) We've been friends through thick and thin. Recently it has been Julia who has pulled us together.

Julia was born with hydrocephalus. Three weeks before she was born, we found out something was seriously wrong with our unborn baby and she might not survive. Luckily, for Mark, Julia and I, three days after she was born, the doctors in Boston at New England Medical Center diagnosed her with severe hydrocephalus. Julia's condition was treatable with surgery although there were no guarantees as to what she would be like, what her functions would be. These girls - our very good friends - have been with Mark and I through the surgeries (there have been ten neurosurgeries, most of them in the first three years of her life), the tears, the cheers, the fun. They have come to the hospital and sat with us. They have brought us food. They have cuddled our child. They have taken care of our dogs, cats and chickens. They are the best friends I could ever ask for.

This past weekend, Linda wanted to teach Julia to dance so she came armed with Ricky Martin and Madonna. We used Julia's Barbie Karaoke machine. Julia wasn’t interested in dancing but Linda and Alice sure did have a good time. We all had fun. I wish they didn't have to leave.

Three parties have ensued. I'm all birthday-ed out. I think even Julia is. I even made good on the promise to Julia for her very own “Fat Cat.” I had some leftover Fair Isle Felt and finished “Zoe Sophia“ in no time. She had a great day on her birthday with lots of other family and friends for cake and ice cream. As she said “This was the best birthday ever.” Oh, to be eight again.

Our daughter is a miracle - as any child truly is.

11 comments:

Robin said...

Happy Birthday Julia! Thanks for sharing Kristin. What a beautiful girl.

lynn crazy lady said...

lynn crazy lady said...

love seeing julias happy b-day cake. we miss you. it's awful hot in d.c bye bye, p.s the boy's will be here till thursday nite. love u

Esther said...

I am so glad I came across your blog! To me, you are the cable queen, even though you do wonderful colour work too.
Julia is so beautiful.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts today.

Joan said...

As a mother of an almost 10-year-old son who also had a difficult beginning, your birthday story about Julia and your good friends brought tears to my eyes. I read your blog for the knitting, but today's entry was superb. P.S. I loved the socks in the Fall issue of Vogue!

Mrs. Staggs said...

What a beautiful child. You have much to celebrate. Happy Birthday Julia!

Melissa said...

I hear you. My daughter was diagnosed with asthma when she was about 2, and we had some very scary, sleepless days and nights during her young life. Threats to a child bring an acute awareness of the value of one small life in a way nothing else does.

bob y said...

I'm sorry Cathy and I missed all the parties for Julia. We'll come to visit in the Fall and have another party!!!!!

Elizabeth said...

Happy Birthday to Julia.
Thank you for sharing your story with us. It makes each birthday more poignant and wonderful.
I love the cardigan in your last post. That's my kind of sweater. (And embroidery doesn't scare me in the least)

Paula said...

Happy Birthday, Julia!!
Thank you, Kristen, for sharing her story with us. I, too, had a very sick little one who is turning 14 next week. As big and strong as any 14 year old boy should be. I have been blessed!

Kathy said...

Happy Birthday, Julia!

aija said...

Happy birthday, Julia! :)