Today I am 41. I have gone from being 40 to being “in my forties”. A year ago I wrote that being forty was like wearing new shoes that hadn’t quite broken in yet. A year later I am smart enough to know never to buy shoes that don’t fit.
I’ve always liked my birthday because it was right around the time that school was starting and that always felt like a new beginning. New pencils, fresh notebooks, a first-day-of-school outfit and the idea of a clean slate was so palpable. It was always so clear to me what I wanted for that year. There was energy and excitement and anticipation and nary a thought of homework or papers or math tests. It was just a return and a beginning all wrapped up into one.
I miss that feeling. At 41 I’m not sure where in the year I find that any longer and this year it feels like today is a quiet day. Today there are people I miss. Heavily.
But today I was woken up by a pair of bright blue eyes and a goofy grin and a tackle that only little boys can do. Today I was handed a hand-written card by an amazingly bright little girl that read, “We hope it is the best because you are you and that’s all you need to have a birthday! Be your creative self all day long!” Today the excitement about birthdays is vibrating all over their little faces and THAT is so very fun to watch.
Today people from years past and days present took time out of their busy days to wish me a happy birthday on Facebook and Twitter and my inbox is exploding with joy. Today I wish I could throw a party and invite them all. It would look like that picture up above, but bigger. It would be filled with champagne and food and stories and laughs and introductions and memories to remembered for years to come. And little tiny cheeseburgers.
Thank you to everyone for their wishes and heartfelt joy. You have made my day. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go buy a new pen and notebook. It’s a new year and there is much to be done.