Just before the new year began, I celebrated my 38th birthday. My older boys were good enough to help me count down the days until my birthday in this fashion: “Mommy! Two years and four (3,2,1) days until you turn 40!” Jonny asked me again and again what I wanted, and if I wanted a party. “Nothing, and no thank you!!” My parents sent me birthday money, and I did order myself some crazy new boots (love them), but I didn’t have any pressing wants. I spent the morning in bed finishing my barn sweater (I’ll share some proper photos later this week) while Jonny took the littles to the grocery store to buy ingredients for my birthday breakfast (I requested oatmeal with peaches and bacon on the side). They each purchased me a gift while they were out: mostly all living, they know me well. Two primroses that I will likely kill quickly, and a lovely little potted iris that will hopefully bloom in the coming months in my windowsill. Gabe bought me a new mug. He knows they are constantly getting broken. My sister sent a couple of vintage tins full of my grandmother’s napkins. Those made me really happy. I had an impromptu lunch out and returned home for more knitting in bed. I finished the little blue hat I was working on for Beatrix and discovered that it was a better fit on Larkspur. I have since cast on one in a larger size for myself using some lavender gray yarn, the same single ply yarn that I knit the first hat in. Next, I will need to go down a size and knit another for Bea. (I am unable to knit the exact same thing in the exact same color twice in a row!) Thankfully there is plenty of indigo yarn left for hers.
My kids fussed because I didn’t want a birthday cake, or dessert of any kind. At some point during the day, I found a paper crane on my bed, with the words “Happy Birthday” on it. Keats’ work. It was a nice, quiet, happy birthday. We made brownies on New Year’s eve, and I think that made up for my lack of birthday sweets.
Last night, while I sat on my bed knitting, Larkspur joined me along with her gerbil care book and a seed catalog. She is planning her garden already, and hoping to grow her own gerbil food, her idea. Sitting there with her, while she circled plants and added up prices, I thought how much she is like me, and how that is pretty neat. She chattered away about growing, baking, and then dehydrating potatoes and I tried not to smile too much, afraid she would think I wasn’t taking her seriously. I do. It’s just a little too precious. A gerbil garden.
Jonny and I have some goals for this year, and while we are working towards them, I think I am working hardest to focus on the present moment rather than the big picture. Sometimes the big picture is too much. I’m starting my mornings with a new book, a birthday gift from a friend, Mornings with Saint Thérèse. Simple, brief readings, perfect for me. I want to try to keep things simple right now. No big resolutions, no word for the year. Just doing the next thing, and trying to do it well. That’s my plan for 2016.
Happy New Year to all of you!!!