I was staring glassy-eyed at my computer screen tonight, up late working (again), when I glanced at my Yestertime bookmark in the toolbar of my browser and it occurred to me that if I didn’t post today, Rosie’s birthday, it would be a sure sign that things in the Land of Blog are dire. Well, and maybe they are. But damn if I have figured out how to get even 10 more minutes out of my day to do this kind of thing. Do you guys know how? And if you do, I can haz the secret?
The truth is, the scales have tipped toward the unhealthy stress-levels in the last couple of months, and I’m not sure what exactly to do about it. I mean, number of kids is not going to change, the amount of activity they create is not going to decrease, and my job is not going to magically be closer to my house (although I am working from home on Fridays, which is just about the only thing keeping me from driving my car off a cliff, Thelma and Louise-style some weeks). Usually my solution to getting all the things (OK, most of the things) done is to stay up later, but it only takes about two days of that before things go totally to pot and I start squinting at people and forgetting simple words like “toast.”
I can’t tell you how many posts I’ve composed in my head during my 50-minute commute, though, and that makes me think that this thing I used to have time and energy for can’t die, because where then do those stories go? Where are the stories of Max I imagined would live here, with ponderings about who he’ll be? One thing I know for sure is that if the answer to that is my memory, then the answer is also: nowhere.
So for today, I want to make sure and record it here: Rosie is four. Her party was at a public park on the coldest, windiest day of this fall so far, but she didn’t care one whip about that. She had invited everyone to come—her teachers, the mailman, the girl she met at the frozen yogurt shop, you—her excitement was too big to hold inside when she talked about it, and burst out of her in spurts and smiles so wide I thought her cheeks would crack open.
The cake was store-bought, with chocolate and vanilla insides and that stickly-sweet, too-much icing on top, and she loved it. The favors and paper plates and bags with gifts inside flopped around and fell on the ground from the blustery wind that never stopped blowing, but she didn’t notice. The crowd was slow to show up, families unsure if the festivities were a go on such a misty grey day, but she greeted each friend as they arrived as if their very attendance had made the whole party for her. “AMELIA!!!” she would shriek. “SAM!!!!” Her fervor for friendship knows no bounds.
It really was miserably cold—moreso because it had been beautiful the day before, and so no one had enough clothes on. (Max was bundled to the max, and held in warm arms the whole time—enough so that he fell asleep, the quintessential party pooper—though, thankfully, not literally.)
I don’t have many pictures from the day—because of the weather, and making sure everyone got cake, etc., but also because I was just caught up in Rosie’s excitement. How small a thing to be glad of yourself. (But how very important.) She kept me warm on that cold, cloudy day, with her rosy grinning lips and braids flying out behind her, and in a lot of ways that’s exactly what it’s been like to have her here with us these four years. She is ebullience, she is joy, she is radiance. She shines and beams drawing us all into the light with her, and we glow together, better because she is with us.
Happy birthday to my best girl. Shine on.