If you slow, if you stop, if you squint, you will see them: Life's white lights. They are wrapped around growth, around green. They dangle and dip. They glitter and shine and blur together. They remind us of seasons, of sweetness, of soul.
His birthday. The man I love is thirty-six today. And the girls and I will descend upon him at his office and take him for lunch. The girls will nibble fries and probably sing holiday songs, and Mommy and Daddy might even indulge in a rebellious midday celebratory cocktail. If there is a quiet moment or two, I might hold his hand over the table and mouth them, those simple words, also true: Happy birthday, babe. I love you. The girls will attack Daddy with hugs and we will say good bye, parting ways for the afternoon hours. He will go back to work, see out the day. We will go home. And then, in the evening, we will take our little girls to a big party. A party at my childhood home. We will twirl with our little creatures around another big tree, around friends old and new and forever, around family. We will celebrate it all - the birthday, the holiday, the everyday.
Our anniversary. On Sunday, it will be seven years. Seven years of marriage. Seven wonderful and wild years. Years in which we've thrived and survived and welcomed a treasured (and tricky) trio of Rowley girls. We will do what we try to do each year on this night. We will hold hands and walk the short distance to the Museum, where this all began. We will climb the big beautiful steps out front and sit under the lit-up dinosaurs. This year, we will have our kids with us. We will tell them a little story. Of us. And then we will hold their little hands (and tote the tiniest) and walk them back down those stairs. And back home. Once they are tucked in, I imagine we will have a quiet toast. To really good years. The ones behind us. And all those that stretch ahead.
My break. It's that time of year again. To stop, to see, to savor. To pause. It's time again to spend time in pajamas, tickling tiny toes. It's time to curl into the cozy moment that is right now, not then, not when. It is time to breathe a series of thank yous, to spend quality time looking at them. My little creatures. My man. My gifts. All of life's white lights. Because they are there. On that big sweet-smelling tree. And they are here. Tangled in the crooked branches of a life I happen to love.
Happy birthday and anniversary, my love. Happy holidays, all. See you in 2012!