The sun is setting on my 38th birthday, a day of cold sunshine and snowy walks and tight hugs from a seven year old possibly as uncertain of what 38 means as I am and out of tune singing from a five year old who really is more concerned with showing me the trick with a lasso she’s learning to do.
I got everything I wanted for my birthday; a book and a card and a date marked on a calendar to head into sunshine and sand and princess castles that my children didn’t have to wait 34 years to be disappointed by. I have a cozy home and healthy children and things that I consider nice, and I wonder what exactly I did to deserve it and whether it will last.
I made dinner on my birthday because I promise, I don’t mind, and we went out for brunch and ordered in last night with friends, before drinking and smoking and playing games that had us howling with laughter and plotting revenge.
And where is the wisdom that becoming older is supposed to bring, where, among the comfort I am supposed to carry in my as is body and maturing outlook, is the bright light of understanding that age promises to replace when all reliance on being the ingénue has faded as truly and permanently as a curtain in the sun.
My child tears through the kitchen in footed pajamas, dragging a game behind her. The lasso has become a leash, wrapped around a cat toy because the cat won’t play, won’t let herself become noosed and dragged by a well meaning five year old who doesn’t yet understand that even the most domesticated among us prefer not to acknowledge the lead.