Today it is my birthday. I turned 48 at midnight. There is no sugar-coating 48; I am pushing hard upon 50. So I just want to thank god for my blessings and liabilities here publicly to you.
So I woke up this morning with a bit less wind in my sails than usual and I laid in bed for 45 minutes before I got up and graded papers. I am grateful that I am a morning person and that a “late” wake-up is 4:45am, and I can still grade 4 papers before I have to think about the secular concerns of the day.
Linda’s Class bought her flowers and baked her a cake for the last day of class. (The cynic suspects that they were playing for the party day of class.) Their Betty Crocker confection and floral gift the day before my birthday remind me how I wish that I could give Linda flowers and bake her cakes every day. I am so grateful that she has chosen to share her life with me. Those LaGuardia students get her for one semester, I am blessed with her for an “eternity of nows.”
On Saturday, Mason’s last game of the season, he took a ball to the face. It knocked him graigh back on his ass. Though is nose was bloodied he hopped right back up and refused to come off. I often think of him as less, but he is much more than his father imagines him as.
Chandler hates the colors we chose for our new apartment. She told us not to use either of the colors we chose but we kept our own council. Her anger was evident. I think she could have lived with rust and taxi, but she was hurt that we did not take her advice more than the color of the place. I am sure that part of her vexation was how small her side of the room looks now that we’ve spliced the big bedroom for the girls.
Lennox presented her cheek for a kiss goodbye on the way into school yesterday. She wanted to get through the door quickly more than she wanted to stop, turn and pucker-up. For the first few months of Kindergarten she was all about the goodbye, as though she wasn’t sure how the day would go. Now she looks forward school more than public doting on by dad.
I added a photo to todayeye that I took (when I had a working digital camera) which had my 34th birthdate on it. It is a bit morbid, but an arresting image because of the patterns and textures. I love to take pictures, and I miss my camera, but I think I’ll get one soon enough. I’m even grateful that it is broken because instead of taking pictures I am noticing them and thinking about how I “would” take them, framing them in my mind as much as swiping the image.
I am, for the first time, sad that a class is ending. I will be giving final exams for the rest of the week, but the classes I taught (the collection of people more than the accumulation of facts, work and knowledge) were really great corporate personalities. Now each class has its stars comets and tails, but looked at as a whole, they become the black-velvet-starry-sky-portrait that you take as a whole. I will even miss the clueless student who asks what I meant after I went through a 20 minute explanation of a sheet which “says-it-all” anyway. (“thesis, topics, evidence, analysis, proofread!”) Soon he won’t be in my life and I won’t remember his name when I see him in the atrium. My life will be poorer for his absence.
The blessing of my 48th birthday is that I start to see the patterns. Linda’s love, that has more lives than all the cats in the shelter. Chandler’s sense of self, Mason’s strength all spring from Lennox’s independence. Students will replace students. Images will present themselves anew. Life will evolve and change. Linda is still here.