Sunday, August 12, 2012

On the day you were born

On the day you were born, your mother might well have been happy--maybe ecstatic--but she probably wouldn't have admitted, "Hey, I'm really enjoying myself." Elliott is five today, which means I'm 35 today, which means we've spent six birthdays together. I should be accustomed to sharing a birthday by now, and YES, Elliott is the loveliest birthday present a mother can imagine, etc.,etc. But damn, birthdays can be exhausting. Here I am, enjoying my birthday the best way an introvert can envision, and that's quietly, alone, in blissful, self-directed contemplation. Hurrah! Finally! It only took an entire day to get here.

That lovely banner behind the alstromeria is--ta-da--handmade, FINALLY, to replace our tired cardboard banner. The cake, one in a long line of construction cakes--also made by me.

I owe Elliott a post, about being born, and about sharing a birthday, and about all the lovely things mothers think about their children who are growing up before their eyes. But this evening's short post allows me to admit that I've had a decent but very tiring birthday. Perhaps that's the kind of birthday one has when one reaches the Uneventful Years.

The Good:
(1) delicious food, expertly prepared
(2) Elliott's banner day
(3) a family gathering, and everyone, including myself, behaved well

The Bad:
(1) Who do you think cooked the food?
(2) How much time did we spend looking for the Shu Todoroki diecast car that we still ended up ordering from Amazon?
(3) Duh!

An appreciation of things homemade makes something like a birthday difficult to enjoy without putting too much into it. But at the end of the day, I guess we can take pride in a birthday well done.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Normal quiet evening

It's our last night at the beach, and like all (good) vacations, it has come to the point of sappiness. I sit rocking the baby, who will not succumb to sleep--there's just too much to see and do, still--she continues to babble, squirm, bounce, and resist a rest. Between squirms, it's difficult not to notice every little thing, trying to catalogue the details in order to cement a memory.

Of course, the irony isn't lost on me that I do this at the tail end of a lovely vacation just as I do at home, when the average day hasn't been too memorable at all. But, as with kids afoot, it's always the little things that persist and become the stuff of rumination. 

But tonight it's stellar scenery. It's the moon, orange turned white, marbly and still, high in the sky already. The thin flannel clouds that no longer shroud the moon. And the gusty white noise of wind and surf, indistinguishable from one another. The moonlit water at high tide looks to threaten the beachfront homes across the street. From the rooftop porch, the night is simple and dramatic. 

The baby finally settles to nurse, and as I curl her in a blanket, she calms to sleep. I continue rocking, listening to the wind and surf, blinking away my hair, wondering about what we all wonder on such wonderful evenings: loneliness, and aloneness; family; mortality; the past, but prettier and too gone; the future, marching full on and full of tall orders.

A beautiful night. One of the many nights I've vowed to always remember, and of course I've forgotten every one. Because sleep calls so sweetly, and before I put pen to paper I put head to pillow, grateful for all those things that I fail to articulate before exhaling into sleep.

Good night, vacation!