My birthday, friends

Today Ted took the day off so I could have time to myself on my birthday. That enabled me to have a few productive practice sessions, time to read, time to catch up on business, time to respond to well-wishes on Facebook, and time to go to the spa with friends in the evening. That was a marvelous gift.

I also got to hold my three kids at different points of the day, and to do some piano practice with Hazel (we did some more improve together at the end).

Lately Emily has taken to coming over, leaning her body onto me, putting her head into my lap if I’m sitting down, or hugging my legs if I’m standing, and saying, “Mama” in such a happy and loving tone. And when Joanna first sees me in the morning, she gives me the most delighted smile, and a, “Mama” in greeting. Hazel still runs to me, “Mommy, mommy!” Today she couldn’t wait to show me the bat she’d made in art class (which, sadly, scared Emily, so we had to put it up for the time being). That is such a special love.

The three women with whom I shared the spa evening are parenting friends, whom I met when Hazel was three weeks old. It was beyond fantastic to spend a few hours with them, to talk about kids, jobs, childcare, relationships, history, etc. I felt my mind and heart stretch and flex in the environment of adult friends, hot water, and no fixed time at which I had to leave. Lying in the sand room at the spa (a heated dry room with a wave machine and a flooring composed of sand under linen), I felt the muscles in my face relax, my body gradually relax into the floor beneath me. At the end, I thought, I am 46 years old, and I birthed two babies two and a half years ago. I am grateful.

I am happy to have different friend circles, people with whom I can share the delights and challenges of parenting; people with whom I can appreciate, share, and make music; people with whom I can write, share critiques and mutual support; and people with whom I have such deep history, who have known me for such significant parts of my life.

I am so grateful for my circles of love and friendship, for my communities.

I am grateful to be alive.

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