It’s pretty damn weird that after all the build up I haven’t written a thing about my 70th birthday itself! It was so lovely that I just didn’t want to let go of it even enough to tell its stories. I just kind of hung onto it for a day. So here it is:
We all went to Santa Cruz, to the beach: sons, daughters-in-law, grandsons and Rick and me. The boys found a great house with a big open plan, perfect for people whose ages run from 70 to 19 months with an almost-five-year-old Nate in the middle.
It was just what I wanted. Toddlers Jake and Eli eating blueberries and flirting with their grandparents, grown-ups talking about everything from politics to child rearing to just-executed beach walks (of which there were many.) Goofing around. Reading stories. Cuddling on the deck. Coloring. Being gifted with three home-made birthday cards covered in crayon and glitter-glue. And with an urgently required lemon zester.
Staying up late talking – and listening to the boys talk with each other. Catching up while the kids slept. Hanging around in the early morning with the mommies and the little guys. Walking from our house to the far end of the promenade, a windy point, and then back past the house to the other end, where there’s a lighthouse. We did it in different combinations, a couple of times in the daylight and one gorgeous time in the dark, watching the lighthouse lazily send out its signal and wondering at the full moon and its bright path of light on the sea.
It was, in short, our family at its best. They gave me what I wanted most: to wake up and wander out in my PJs and find the little ones sitting on the floor giggling; to watch the sunset bundled up on the deck with Nate in my lap, and to enjoy our sons and their wives. To all be together in the same place for more than dinner.
From each of them came hugs, and humor and generosity of spirit – and lots of love. Times like these are why we celebrate being born at all.