another turn around the sun = half a lifetime

Well, another revolution around the sun marks yet another year of life.

Forty two years old. 42! I gulp and sigh heavily just thinking it, saying it, writing it.

But it feels just fine, really.

I mean yes, I feel OLD, in that oh wow, I always thought those numbers in the 40s sounded really fucking old when I was in my 20s, or 30s even. I feel old when I realize that 42 = 21 x 2. I feel old in that holy crap, toddlers take a LOT of energy and I’m tired sort of way.

When my mom called to wish me a happy birthday, she said “wow, you ARE getting old!” but then turned it into “how do you think that makes ME feel?” Then she told me not to be “too depressed” and I thought, gee, thanks mom, I actually wasn’t (before you called). Then when my aunt called and said she was thinking about the day I was born, I thought wow, she must have a really great memory.

So yeah, 42 feels old.

But numbers aside, I feel so happy and lucky and grateful. And that is truly the best gift of all.

For starters, I’ve now reached the point where I’ve been with my partner and soul mate for nearly half of my life. When we got together, I was just 21 (and a half). Those kinds of thoughts are rather profound for me, like when I turned 32 and realized that my dad had been gone from my life for the same length of time he’d been in it (he died when I was 16). Or when I figured out that I knew my kitty for longer than I knew my dad (17 years).

But half of my life with the person who makes it all worthwhile, well, not many people I know can say that.

So yes, I felt like the luckiest person today.

My day began with our almost two year old daughter saying “happy birthday mama!” (with just a bit of coaching from her dada). It could have ended right there, because honestly I think I’ve waited my whole life for that moment.

Yet it continued. I took the day off and we played hookey. My fabulous husband made us all breakfast and we took a ride out towards the coast, stopping in a small country cafe for a wonderful lunch. Baby Jaye was enthralled by the bakery counter (“brownie! piece that! taste!” and “ooh, look good!” — when she’s never eaten anything like that in her little life — just wait, little one, your birthday’s coming up too and mama has a big surprise for you…). For dessert I had the most amazing espresso with a scoop of creamy organic vanilla ice cream; it turned into a milkshake and it was divine.

That afternoon, we swayed in our new hammock and enjoyed the first beautiful day we’ve had in weeks. For dinner, we tried the best sushi place in our new hometown (take out), and since we only get it about twice a year it was an extra treat. Mac gave me some beautiful cards, as he always does. And Baby Jaye drew an awesome picture on her card, which had the Little Nutbrown Hare from “Guess How Much I Love You” on the front. Love.

At some point Mac offered to put Jaye to bed, but she wanted mama and I obliged. Along with our other goodnights, we added “night night mama’s birthday, see you next year.” Then when I laid her down and started singing our evening medley of songs, she started softly singing “happy birthday to mama” as we had at dinner. As I rocked slowly in the glider listening to her sweet voice from her crib, I just started bawling, quietly. I can’t even describe how I felt at that very moment. I mean there I was, ready to give up our nightly ritual so I could check my email or lay on the couch for a few minutes. And instead that single moment flooded me with a torrent of love and joy and gratitude so deep I felt it in the base of my gut. Yet I felt the tiniest tinge of guilt too, not because I was almost willing to miss it, but because I received it. Me. This little girl’s mama.

There are just some moments when you can feel every possibility, where you can truly appreciate how it might have never been. So the tears flowed — for me and my lifted spirit and fortunate soul, for Jaye and her soft sweetness, for Kaye and her forever loss, and for Mac and our amazing family.

And that is how I welcomed yet another turn around the sun.

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~ by luna on May 19, 2011.

8 Responses to “another turn around the sun = half a lifetime”

  1. Ohmygoodneess Luna, now I’m crying.

    Happy Birthday from one 42 year old to another! Hope the next year is full of as much love and deliciousness as today. xo

  2. Happy Happy Birthday! so gla dyou got to enjoy so many special moments!

  3. Sounds fabulous. And I hear you about the feeling old. 41 is a month away for me. Happy Birthday and wishing you a fabulous year!

  4. That’s a lot of wisdom and vision to pack into one day! I love how you spend your birthday, all that gratitude.

    Happy birthday, my young friend.

  5. A very happy birthday to you!! What an amazing day.

  6. Luna, I rarely come here without tearing up. Beautifully written.

    Happy Birthday, friend.

  7. […] turned 42 and I felt old. Then I realized I had spent nearly half my life with Mac, my soul mate, and I felt […]

  8. […] world 14 years ago today. And tomorrow we would have honored her in the best way we know as I bake my birthday cake. Rooting me in ritual and bathing me in memory, baking connects me to my Nana like nothing […]

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