Happy birthday, Peter!
Love from all of us.Print
On my birthday a few days back I woke to:
breakfast in bed
2 British glossy magazines
a chocolate bar
2 terribly generous gift certificates because my husband’s family spend too much on me
a most fun gift from a most cherished friend
The cat even came in to say hello.
It was perfect.
My daughter turns eleven today.
Who is this skinny, smart, somewhat reasonable little girl? She was six pounds once upon a time and never ate much (some things never change). When she was fourteen months, she wore green sandals and was pink cheeked and happy and very busy.
I’ve noticed that my girl has grown quieter. We can sit in the car from her bus stop to the Super Store and she’ll say nothing, just stare out the window. When I ask if she is okay, she tells me she is just thinking.
About good stuff? I ask.
Yes, she tells me, good stuff.
Once, my brother came back inside after playing with the kids and I asked if my daughter had enjoyed it. He looked at me and said:
“She enjoys everything she does.”
She is more hesitant now. More world weary. Relationships that hurt, too many long boring speeches delivered by a mother or father over time, pick things up, be nice to your brother. She stays up later now and is tired each morning.
Eleven years ago I held her as she slept wrapped in a fuzzy pink blanket. This morning, she eats and reads and will soon get dressed for school.
She has new white jeans.
My parents come over for my son’s birthday yesterday. My dad doesn’t like to drive so much anymore and the hourlong trip on the highway takes it out of him.
My kids are happy to see them. My Mom – Nana – brings presents, cookies, a chick with orange feet and a beak (Easter next weekend).
When you wind the chick up, it walks.
I’m very happy they made the trip.
4:30 in the morning is very quiet. Also very dark.
My cat watches me from over there. She thinks I have come down to feed her. I couldn’t sleep. My mind kept drifting from my Stones bio and I wandered downstairs by the light of my son’s nightlight.
I haven’t turned the tree lights on. It stands by the back window, glittering with silver and gold and pink and blue and green balls. The angel stands straight.
I’m going to be 47 tomorrow.
It is true what they say, how inside your head you are still a kid. I may know how to pay bills online and I can drive and I can feed my kids and fill the fridge with nutritious (mostly) food. But inside me, I am still scared a lot. I am dreamy and wishful and awkward and emotional. I struggle to figure people out and I struggle to figure myself out.
When I talk with my daughter, I don’t feel so much older than she is. I may be more realistic (hate that word) which is part of growing up. But I know her confusions and her embarrassments. I love hearing the things that make her giggle.
You don’t giggle when you are almost 47 the way you giggle when you are 10.
My cat is gone. It is cold at 5 in the morning in our house.