Two weekends ago, my little boy hit the one-year mark. I released a sigh of relief, wiped the sweat from my forehead, the sweat that accumulated each time I woke up at night to check if he was breathing, each time I placed my hand on my back in the inky blackness of our bedroom to see if I could feel his life pulse through him, each time I left him in the room to sleep and I constantly jumped up every 5 seconds whenever I thought I heard him stir…
This weekend, I turned a year older. I released a sigh of happiness, sipped on my favorite cocktail all day long while surrounding myself with the friends who decided to do a BBQ for me, for my friends with birthdays near or around my own – we roasted goat meat, marinated in a mix of lemon, rosemary, water and berbere.
Birthdays have always meant so much to me. Forget any other holiday or commercialized celebration, but NEVER forget my birthday. I do not hanker for gifts. I hanker for time, for conversation, for meaningful hugs. I got all these and more today. I got a perfectly timed email from my love, Austin’s Dad. I got a sweet hug from a friend I have known for ages; ages, meaning pre-pregnancy, pre-marriage, pre-I-don’t-think-I-can-drink-all-that-gin era. We shared cake slices, exchanged mothering stories, smiled and laughed a lot.
I am so grateful for another year, even in the face of all the madness going on across the ocean. At this point, on this day, I turned a year older. I remain grateful that I have lived thus far, as some cannot say that. When folks over there are busy selecting Trump for President (maybe), criminalizing all police folks, blaming Black people for starting Black Lives Matter, and championing gun ownership despite all the statistics, all I can do is continue to love those positive in my life, beginning with my son and his father.
Birthdays. Some will never get to see the next one and I am grateful for what I have at this moment. The fierce hug of love from my son, his face lighting up when he sees me from afar. The well-timed message of love from my honey, enveloping me with warmth. And all the other points in between. Including the FB posts wishing me a good one. All of it.
Thank you, friends, for a great birthday.