I woke on my daughter’s birthday chilled to the bone and feeling older in all the very best ways. She was sleeping peacefully next to me, oblivious that she had stripped me of all the blankets in the night. I snuggled into her side of the bed and pulled her into my arms telling her it’s time to wake up for her happy birthday. She grins but doesn’t open her eyes. We enjoy a few minutes of quiet whispers about plans and presents and family; all things we have in abundance this week as we hide in the warmth of the blankets. I have not yet turned on the furnace this season and am heating the house with a little electric heater on the main floor; mornings in the attic rooms can be chilly. Lilly was suffering through it with me as she loaned out her room to her new, extra Mommy, Z’s new wife as we made preparations for my oldest daughter’s wedding.
Yes, that would be two birthdays and a wedding in a week. Almost like three birthdays because now I have a brand new son who is as beautiful as the other two, and I adore him. He is absolutely in love with my daughter, and I love the changes they bring out in each other. Lilly and her friend stood up at the reception and sang them a song, unscripted, impromptu, a capella leaving mascara stains on every cheek and grown men clearing their throats and dabbing their eyes.
There is a lot that can and probably should be said about all that wedding stuff and I probably will at some point when I have more time to process it. I am, for the greatest part, a hermit with my little butterfly companions free from the judgment of strangers. I don’t like to get out. I don’t like to be in the spot-light. I don’t like to think about being in the background in those pictures everybody was snapping. It’s hard to look awesome from every angle all the time.
It was an incredible amount of effort to create a space to enjoy the inevitable. I had all the people I love in one place for a moment. We shared an enormous ice-cream Sundae birthday celebration for wedding-day breakfast; because that was the only time we could fit it in. I got to hug my sons as many times as I wanted to. I made it to 42. I had time to bond with my children’s bonus mommy. I have a new son. The stars even aligned to bring a favorite friend through town that always leaves me with a grin on my face as we bond in the strangest, most delightful way, effectively distracting me from all the stress a family get together inevitable creates. It’s nothing but joy and gratitude here.