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Entries in birthday (7)


Three. Six. Five. Oh. Em. Gee.

365.365(!) 50mm f2 1/80 ISO 200So here's a little secret: today is my 38th birthday.  Not entirely coincidentally, this is the 365th picture of my 365 project.


Sorry.  I just had to get that out of my system.

So today I want to add to the list of things I'm thankful for, the lovely community of visitors that stops by here to keep me accountable, and encourage me, and walk me through the rough patches.  I think it's safe to say I wouldn't have done it without you.  Thank you.

Some of you have wondered aloud what will happen after 365.  Changes are coming.  I have an inkling of what they'll look like, but mostly we're just going to watch this thing evolve together.  I'll be here.  Hope you will too.

In the meantime, I'm going to eat some cake.


Calculus (of Birthdays)

342.365 200mm f5.6 1/200 ISO 1001st birthday: party for Mama

2nd birthday: party for kid (extra drinks for Mama, as she's dealing with, or about to deal with, Terrible Twos)

5th birthday: "Can I have a puppy?"

10th birthday:  Double digits!

13th birthday: "Don't talk to me."

16th birthday:  "Give me the keys."

18th birthday:  "Later!"

21st birthday:  "My shoes... do I need them?"

30th birthday: "Does this mean I'm supposed to act like an adult now?"

I could guess about the next big milestones, not having passed them yet myself.  Instead I'll say that as my community's children grow (like it's their job!), they astound me with their perfect self-ness.  Each holds his or her own world of discreet existence, all contained in the most adorable little bodies.  Each is a surprise unfolding before us. 

Is that the most obvious statement anyone's ever bothered to take up bandwidth with?  Oh well.  Sometimes the obvious stuff hits me the hardest, like oh yeah!  Those little kids that keep showing up?  They're real people!  Even when they're two!

Happy birthday, Jamie.


Heat and Light

310.365 50mm f4 1/125 ISO 200Yesterday was scorching hot.  I remember it was hot this time three years ago too, but then it felt exponentially more oppressive.  The kind of hot you can obviously only be when Mother Nature takes it upon herself to mock you - one of her own! - in your 39th week of pregnancy.  The kind of hot that makes you stop fearing labor, because it couldn't possibly be as bad as being puffy and filled up to the brim and heated from the inside too when it is 1,000,000° outside.

Only a few days prior my doctor had done an ultrasound to check that my fluid levels were okay.  She looked confused and measured and re-measured the baby's cranium, before declaring "Whoa, this kid has a big head!"  Which, in case I have any OB residents reading, is a sentence that should never escape your lips in this situation.  Even if it's true.  Then she checked my cervix and declared me tight as a drum.  Not dilated.  Not effaced.  The second worst sentence that could be spoken at 39 weeks.

Anyway, he got out somehow.  And somehow it's three years later and we gave him his birthday present early.  And then I ran around the block after him, in the heat, so he could feel the freedom of his new set of wheels.  A glimpse, I imagine, of a life untethered from mom.  I guess the dog days of August may from now on make me sentimental.  The heat will be something we were both forged in, on the first day of Ezra.


One Weekend, Two (Incomplete) Lists

First, things to let go of:

  • the compulsion to prove myself the Life Of The Party
  • the disappointment that I'm not
  • the urge to dance with 10,000 weirdly dressed freaky people at the Thievery Corporation show at Red Rocks
  • the anxious stomach, at the thought of Doing The Right Thing
  • the one remaining ticket to Burning Man, to be mailed to a deserving soul in San Francisco today
  • the vivid Playa dreams I've had for the past 12 months
  • the fear that I'll never be able return to Black Rock City

I chose the quiet space this weekend, though the fleshy little crescent moons dug into my palms betrayed my fight to release the Showy, the Loud, the Fun.  It is possible that the fact that I was too busy all weekend to write proves that I still have a way to go toward the quiet space.  But never mind that.

So, List #2.  Also known as, steps toward quiet satisfaction:

305.365 50mm f1.4 1/60 ISO 1600

  • Is it weird to profess moving toward a quiet place and then immediately show a photo of a DJ?  Baby steps.  But when your brother -- who has excellent taste in intelligent music and who is really getting the hang of matching beats -- invites you to dance... and when the dance is in a dark room with no alcohol and no expectation that you'll even speak to anyone and only the impression that you'll let the music move you...  well, at that point it becomes kind of like a late-night yoga class.  With big speakers.

306.365 50mm f3.2 1/320 ISO 200

  • Come to think of it, toddler birthday parties are not famously quiet either.  But being the world's Least Organized Mom (manifested this week by my inability to plan Ezra's birthday party more than three days in advance) does have occasional advantages.  No Chuck E Cheese.  No pool party.  No Children's Museum mayhem.  Just a couple picnic blankets, some cupcakes, and a small gathering of the kind of long-time friends and family that let you know you've arrived at Community. 

Ezra will turn three this week secure in the knowledge that he got his birthday cake.  And I will keep from him the secret that there is still a vat of homemade cream cheese icing in the fridge.

307.365 50mm f1.4 1/60 ISO 800

  • Finally, I had been torn between an invitation to a salon my long-lost friend Marjorie was hosting last night (quiet) and the Thievery show at Red Rocks (loud).  I met Marjorie in a writing class years ago.  She has been cultivating a writing life ever since and gathered a collection of some of her favorite writer friends for dinner and readings. 

Wow.  Just, wow.  First of all it was incredibly flattering to even be invited to the same gathering as these people, under the guise of being a Writer.  I mean, they were reading chapters of novels they're working on and memoirs and poetry.  I took the out offered on the invitation and read the work of someone I admire, Kate Inglis.  Seemed a better option than reading aloud the glorified journal entries I post here. 

But here is what I have to say about this: the food was delicious, the people I met were talented and fascinating, the variety and quality of their work was inspiring, and I could have stayed to talk for much longer if we had not already been on the verge of turning into pumpkins by the end of the night.  I did not wish for a moment that I was instead dancing among the throngs at Red Rocks.  Thank you, Marjorie, and all your writerly friends for including me in a completely nourishing evening.  It was exactly what I needed.

(But feel free to keep reports of Thievery Corporation to yourself, people.)


Birthday Girl

289.365 50mm f2.5 1/100 ISO 200Meet Addie, again.  It is completely mystifying to me that she could possibly be one year old today.  It is amazing how fast the first year of life goes for babies who are not your own.  I am in awe of how much fun Addie's parents made having an infant look.  If Will and I ever have another baby, I am taking lessons from them.

Also, watching babies dive headlong into their first piece of cake?  Never gets old.