Charlie’s Birthday, Winter is Finished

When things start to look up after hard times, do you ever look around and think, “Is this going to last? It’s so good. Too good, maybe.”

This is how I feel today—like a nightgown on a clothesline in a breeze. But will the breeze turn into a downpour, and will a wind gust blow the nightgown into a muddy ditch? Who’s to say.

It’s Charlie’s ninth birthday, it’s sunny and warm, and I’m alight. I had the following thoughts today:

  1. I’m really glad I didn’t just give birth (apologies to all moms in labor or postpartum. I’ve been there. Four times).
  2. Charlie is the happiest, most thoughtful and genuine kid. My life would be a smaller, duller place without my third son.
  3. Because of Charlie, I know more about Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth, Mary Todd Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Reichstag building being stormed by the Soviets than I ever would’ve otherwise known. I’m nurturing a secret hope that one day he will become a tour guide at a national monument, fulfilling his dreams and enriching the lives of his fellow citizens through his deft handling of dates and facts.
  4. My children are like me—they like to choose their own birthday presents. Perhaps I have trained them this way. Maybe it’s an innate preference. Whatever. Who cares. The fact remains that they love to go shopping with me and see everything and make their own choices. It’s better than unwrapping surprises. It’s the hunt and the anticipation that reward them the most. This is how we do birthdays. We go out together and we SHOP. It’s so much fun.
  5. Pizza is so good. I’ve dropped soda and many carbs and sweets. I’ve been eating more fruits and vegetables. I haven’t been eating a whole lot of pizza, especially really good pizza. But tonight I did, for Charlie’s birthday. Oh gosh. Pizza. Wow and yes.
  6. I am so very tired every night. This is because I’m doing an hour at the gym plus the 200 exercises prescribed by the physical therapist. But it’s a good tired. I’m trashed and I feel great.
  7. Peanut butter is like manna to me, of late. Years of kids and kid-lunches turned me off from PBJ’s some time ago. But peanut butter on a spoon? Oh my.
  8. Jack’s ear is clearly healed, because he is the happiest person in the world, currently. They said at school he was dancing and singing this afternoon. I love him. I love it when he enjoys life.
  9. When we get to Charlie’s birthday, I always celebrate that we have made it through another winter. We actually did it. I can’t even think about next winter. But this one, dunzo.
  10. There are so many happy and exciting things to look forward to in the coming months. This is when the disbelief creeps in and I wonder what trauma will derail it. Yet I’m still holding on to hope and the vision that sometimes seasons of wonder follow the most strenuous seasons. I’m hopeful.

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