(I'm jumping the gun a bit here, but wanted to do it while I'm laid up with the flu and have the time. Our first grandchild Caitlin was born on Halloween in 2003. Needless to say it was a peak experience in my life, as I was privileged to witness the birth. When Caitlin turned four, I put together a book for her with illustrations, including some personal photos. At that point, "cut and paste" meant just that: get out a pair of scissors and a glue stick. Therefore I didn't save any of the images. So this is a new set, but the text is the same.)
ON THE DAY YOU WERE BORN
For our granddaughter Caitlin on her fourth birthday
From Grandma and Grandpa Gunning
The day you were born was a special day, a day we will never forget.
It was late in October, and autumn leaves whirled in the air. Pumpkins were for sale in all the grocery stores. The days grew shorter, the weather colder. We all had to wear sweaters and jackets to go outside.
You had been growing inside your Mommy’s tummy for a very long time. The whole family was really excited about your birth! They had been looking forward to it for nine long months.
Your Mom was looking forward to it, too. Her tummy was now quite big. Sometimes she felt a little tired. “I want to see you, my little one!” she said to her tummy. “Come on out so I can see your face.”
At last, the big day arrived. Your Mommy knew that you were about to be born, so your Daddy took her to the hospital. But you did not get born right away. Sometimes it takes quite a long time for babies to be born. But your Mommy wasn’t worried, for she knew she was in a good place.
Grandpa and Grandma Gunning came to the hospital, but the nurses told them, “It will be quite a long time.” So they walked up and down the halls of the hospital. Grandpa looked around to find the bathroom.
Then they decided to have something to eat. They went to the hospital cafeteria, and there they saw –
Surprise! All the nurses were dressed up in costumes! Some were dressed as witches. Some like vampires. There were ten of them sitting around a table dressed as Paper Bag Princesses. Two nurses were pretending to be Fred and Wilma Flintstone. Two more were dressed like Sonny and
Then Grandma Margaret turned to Grandpa and said, “Oh, I forgot. Today is Hallowe’en!” Grandpa said, “No, I don’t think you forgot. There’s a whole bag of candy missing.” Grandma looked quite embarrassed.
Several hours passed. We were all getting more and more excited because you were about to be born. Your Mom asked Grandma Margaret (her Mommy) to be with her when it happened. She was so happy to be able to see it!
It’s hard work having a baby, but your Mom did a wonderful job. The whole family knew they were about to see something beautiful and special. Your Daddy was with her all the time, holding her hand and encouraging her.
When you came out to see us, we were all so happy we wanted to dance! You looked healthy and strong, and you were a nice pink colour. You didn’t cry very much, because you seemed to be too busy looking around the room at all those people.
The nurse wrapped you tightly in a green blanket. Grandma and Grandpa Paterson could not wait to hold you, they were so delighted to see their new granddaughter. Everyone said, “Doesn’t she look like Grandma Donna!”
Then your Mommy made a very special announcement. She did not tell us your name before you were born, as she wanted to keep it a secret. Then she told everyone, “I’d like to introduce you to Caitlin Nicole Paterson.” We all said, “Oooooohh!”, since we thought it was such a pretty name.
Your Daddy phoned a sportscaster at work to tell them the good news, so your birth was announced during a hockey game on the radio. So you were already famous on the first day of your life.
Grandma Margaret told Grandpa, “Now you won’t forget her birthday, since it comes on Hallowe’en.” (Sometimes Grandpa forgets things.) Having a Hallowe’en birthday is special and fun, since you get to dress up, go door to door and have treats.
It’s as if the whole world is celebrating your birthday. And we celebrate too, Caitlin, because we love you!