Birthdays

Photo by Sister Friend

Finding it hard to get back into the swing of things on the other side of this long weekend, despite the fact that it’s a short week starting today and it’s Fat Tuesday!

Last Valentine’s Day, I recall writing something rather bitter and silly regarding the ladies in the office getting flowers on the “holiday”.  This year I managed to keep my mood from swinging too hard into crazy-single-lady territory. For one thing, I’m not bitter this year. Yes, I’m still single, but I recognize that as my choice. And it helped that I spent the weekend with the people that I really love: my family.

Today is my mom’s birthday. This is a big year for my parents—they’re looking for a nest egg for their golden years and they have a pretty short deadline to meet. So life is a bit tense around the household. What’s to be done with all of this stuff? Where are they going to go? What do we do with the ancient cats?

Questions that we’ve never had to deal with are popping up left, right and centre all of a sudden.

And it’s rare when we’re all in the same room together, so they tend to pop up over family dinners when I come to town.

Yet, I don’t dread them. In fact, I love them. It reminds me that I’m no longer a child and I’m allowed to be a part of a discussion that I might not have any answers to but need to know about anyway.  And we discuss things the way we’ve always discussed them; not everything is said, some things are best couched in a joke, and where there is pessimism, there is also hope.

So, this year on my mom’s birthday, I was reminded that we’re all getting a little older.

My niece wasn’t there.  Half-way to eleven years old, she was at her first horse-riding camp for the weekend.

I can still remember being terrified to hold her for the first time.

My nephew did his best to gorge himself on birthday cake in her absence and remind us all that there are still things to laugh at and games to play, even when life seems like it’s just made of Big Decisions.

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