Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

38 Years. Some birthdays seem to carry more weight than others. For me, it's not always the milestones that give me the greatest pause. It's usually some odd, unexpected age when I become retrospective and sentimental.

Today, I reflect on 38 phenomenal years. Some things I know, without a doubt:

Homemade chocolate butter cream frosting acts as a salve to my soul, and the cake merely acts as the vehicle to get the frosting into my mouth, to my anticipatory taste buds. Oh. Man. Is. It. GOOOOOOOD.

Now that I'm a mother, I know that certain things are decidedly genetic. Like hating to be wet when you're supposed to be dry (Henry got this from me). Or furrowing your brow when you're thinking about something, no matter how trivial. (Abby furrowed her brow at me the day she was born--and when she is 38, she, too, will have Grand Canyon crevices in her forehead as evidence of this lovely genetic trait.)

I don't know what will happen tomorrow. Or in the next minute. I openly embrace how little I know about things. Gone are the days of my 20s when my bravado and I knew sooooo much. This gracious non-understanding allows me to explore the intricacies, the conundrums, the small things--by asking and learning from the everyday sages who surround me.

Each day imparts gifts; oddly, awkwardly wrapped little nuggets of truth, sometimes disguised as shitty days, weeks or months. Sometimes, the significance of the gift unravels slowly....like molasses from a jar.

Sometimes, I'm a real bitch.

I am fiercely grateful for the constants in my life: wind, trees, air and the ground, meeting my feet with each stride. Love and joy from unexpected pockets, friends and kindred spirits.

I am painfully afraid of loss. I am still terrified of losing someone I love...the fragility of the human condition pummels me. (And, while reading Dani Shapiro's phenomenal Devotion, I realize I want to go deep on this topic...)

Nondescript divinities truly knock the air out of my lungs. The moments where time sits heavily in my hand, when I'm kissing the top of my son's head, or when my daughter inquisitively looks at me through long lashes, with furrowed brow, sparkling eyes dancing on a sea of delicate freckles.

I hit the jackpot when I met my Hubby. And he hit the jackpot when he met me.

I love wearing things that remind me of people--a grandmother's necklace, a dear friend's bracelet, hubby's fleece. These things steep me in flooded memories.

I always have a choice.

And today, I chose to celebrate all of it--ALL 38 years of it.