Tuesday, July 6, 2010

you are special today


For some reason we always end up celebrating Middlest's birthday over a scattering of days.  This is strange - this regular fractured dislocation of her day.   Especially when her birth of them all was the most peaceful, focused, and whole - an island of grace and peace in an otherwise dark and stormy time. 

Her birth, my second time rowing across that lake of mortality, second time diving down to bring up that magic flower, eternal blossom of life.  And she herself an everlasting and blessed mystery.  Her unreadable glance.  Her sudden generous outpouring.

Since then, the storm that was my life has smoothed, but somehow the return of her birthday always seems to fall right on the day of unavoidable distractions - business travel, organized rides, conferences, presentations, track meets.  And so we always end up celebrating her birth over and over - a never quite satisfactory straggle of celebratory jangle stretched out over the week.  

This year: her sister secretly invites a handful of friends over for pizza and a movie two weeks before -no time available any closer in.  "Surprises . . . ," Middlest grimaces, whispering the one word to me when they've all turned to lean over the table - teammates, classmates, current crush, the family of boys who are like cousins, girls she giggled with in seventh grade, all reaching now for pizza cutter and paper plates.  She wriggles, grimacing, torn between pleasure and what else. 

On the calendar day: simple candles, rushed and late at night, her eyes half-open, shivering in not-quite-dried running clothes, hair still damp with rain and effort from her meet, but patient with this parental need to carry out the ritual, to document that yes, we are so happy you came our way! 

Again at the weekend: triple decker and fresh strawberry and family gathered, with all the belated ka-jinga-thunkle of the just-a-little-too-late.  The cake layers list - threatening disaster - the frosting slowly oozes toward the plate, and the berries are not ripe enough to taste like berries.  But Middlest has been admiring the strawberry cake on the cover of Patty Pinner's Sweets for some time and recognizes this as best effort.

And then, finally, this post which I have been writing over many weeks.  Wanting to say.  Wanting to hold words close to my heart.

How you, my dear, are special to me every day and not just this.

2 comments:

Mrs. Organic said...

This post makes me wish you were my mom (and that I were 20 years younger).

Emma J said...

If I were your mom I would hope you'd be 20 years younger! (I wouldn't mind being that much younger myself.)

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