I got up this morning just after six and headed out the door for an early morning run. When I quietly eased open the front door of our condo, the clock said 6:12. By the time I got down the stairs to the beach the sun was making its way up from the horizon and I checked the time again. 6:18. For a moment I thought it was the moment, until I realized we’re currently in another time zone and I still had a long hour ahead of me. I laugh at that reminder – how perfectly perfect a memory is that? I run and run and run, sweat pouring off my body, til I get to the point where breathing through my nose just isn’t cutting it. I don’t use headphones at the beach, I just listen to the sound of my breathing, two beats in, two beats out. When I round the bend and see the driveway it’s 7:18, and I know it’s really this time. I’m equal parts exhausted and elated.
You are here. Six times over. Each year a gift. Each year equal parts exhaustion and elation.
We gathered around you in your bed last night and told you stories about the day you were born. You begged and begged for more, even as we backed out of the door. You are angry that your day ends earlier than ours, but being five has worn you out. Your moments of equilibrium are rare these days. You motor around at top speed for hours on end, collapsing into a spent pile of tangled limbs and hair at the end of it. We cannot feed you enough to fuel your whirlwind; we pull you back to us every few hours, an action that is met with firm resistance on your part.
You awaken and the world brightens up around you. The sunset is you. Six circles, six gifts. Each year I ask for another, just the same. Equal parts exhaustion and elation.
Happy birthday my sweet, sweet girl.