It turned out to be a particularly good day for outings, because it was William's birthday, because we met story tellers, artists, interesting sights, darling goats, shy piglets, the rising tide, and treasures in the sand. From Escondido to Cardiff-By-The-Sea, and points between, we were happily connected with experiences, and worthwhile encounters. At home, we shared our gifts with William, like signal flags from ships, and three yards of linen fabric. Alex baked birthday brownies. It was a good day; a good mix of work with play, errands into excursions, detours, side trips, and poetry.
What could have prepared me for this day... for the time when my first baby would be a young man, twenty-five, profoundly gifted, intelligent, gentle, generous, his own self? Even the warnings... 'it will go quickly... before you know it, he'll be all grown up;' even those parenting axioms that we hear over and over again, cannot stop it from happening, or make this moment any less surreal. I can remember holding him in my arms, as though it were only days ago. I can remember the utter joy and confidence I felt in his arrival, knowing that the honor of being his mother was to be one of the greatest experiences of my life, and the feeling has only increased. Our culture values letting go, pushing independence; that has its merits, but the heart knows something too, and that is the gift of relation, the nature of interdependence. I hope we will always feel connected, that we will always enjoy outings, poetry, and celebrating good days, together. Happy birthday, William, and thank you, for the privilege of being your mom.