Robin turned 23 last month. 23 years of wild, wonderful life. It’s strange to think that I’ve only celebrated this day with him three times. It made me realize how much of him there still is to learn, to explore, to celebrate. It makes me wish I could have been at his birthday parties when we were small- him, round-faced and beaming, maybe still missing some teeth, and me, with my chopped off bangs and shy smile. We would have been best friends then, too.
It’s funny to see the way our celebrations of his birthday have changed. The first one we celebrated together was one of those wide-open expressions of desperate early love. We were still dating long distance, so my mom and I planned this crazy scavenger hunt that took him all over his home town, then I met him for a picnic on the beach. The second birthday, we were still newly married and had a bunch of friends to our house to watch a movie on the side of our garage and had hot dogs, pie, and homemade popcorn. And this year, we celebrated it together, just us. I brought him a strawberry jam filled donut in bed with one sparkler candle in it and sang him “Happy Birthday” in a German accent, one of our weird, great family traditions. Throughout the week we celebrated him a few times with different people, all family and very close friends. It wasn’t as big of an ordeal, but I liked what it said about us.
We had been so busy during the weeks leading up to his birthday, there hadn’t really been time to plan a party. If I had thrown something together it would have been stressful and neurotic, and I would have been doing it from a place of striving. But we have settled into something sweet and steady, and I think it’s called home.
Happy birthday, my sweet Bird. I look forward to witnessing many many more years of your wild, wonderful life.