I turn (gulp, just say it) thirty five on June 26th. Thirty five. Thirty five has always sounded to me like mortgages, mammograms, and minivans. Like meetings with accountants, calling “my lawn guy,” going to bed at nine-fifteen-p.m., and eating cottage cheese while my kids enjoy pancakes. Like a La Croix when I really want a full-calorie Sprite.
But it’s not. Thirty-five is the neighbor to thirty-four, which has been an exceptionally generous year in my life. It was a year that answered. It was a year of emotional thawing, or warming, and on my thirty-fourth birthday, I watched Mr. Magpie transform before my eyes after a particularly trying string of frustrations and dislocations.
I will never forget this happy year in our small apartment, its walls already lit with the haze of nostalgia: rolling fresh pasta at our drop-leaf dining room table, in the midst of a major pasta obsession thanks to this cookbook, while cursing the diminutive size of our kitchen; the sound of mini’s breathless laughter during her maiden piggy-back rides on Mr. Magpie while I was sitting idly in the green and white striped rocking chair in her nursery, impossibly pregnant — just the sound of their laughter together in the other room made my heart swell; the Easter dinner that stretched from 5 PM to 8 PM with my sister and brother-in-law, punctuated by a dance party at mini’s behest, limbs flailing, music blaring; the sight of mini, sprawled out on her stomach, intently coloring her Disney coloring books; the many late nights reading in my bed while listening and not-listening to the city sounds just outside my window; the way I cajoled mini out of the bathtub on countless nights by telling her to bring Mr. Magpie “a cappuccino” of bubbles in a little blue plastic coffee cup, her dimpled butt sprinting out of the bathroom to present it to him, joyously. This is the stuff of a good childhood, I think, or I hope. But also — the stuff of a good parenthood. The snuggly feeling of belonging and attachment and safety and all-is-right-with-the-world. And I have thirty-four to thank for that feeling of respite after what feels like a decade of movement and undulation and uncertainty.
So I am grateful to thirty-four. And eager for what thirty-five will bring, too. I have a hunch — the kind of hunch you get when you read the first few pages of a book and feel yourself really lean in — it’s going to be a good one.
Post Scripts: What I Want to Wear on My Birthday.
I’ve asked Mr. Magpie to make reservations at either Prune, again (because — I mean, it was magic last year) or Le Coucou, because I’ve wanted to go there forever. And for the occasion, my sister and I have decided we will dress up: heels, gowns, whatever impractical fashion accessories we are into at the moment. Below, my top picks for a birthday dress — many of which I’ve featured multiple times over on le blog, so that should show you how much I’ve been pining after post-partem clothing:
+This Agua Bendita dress which has been EVERYWHERE on EVERY influencer and OMG I can see why.
+This Self-Portrait (on super sale!).
Aaaand a couple of under-$100 birthday gifts I may just need to snag for myself: these frayed, knotted mules (LOVE! — $60!); this voluminous floral blouse; this nightie/coverup; this Cult Gaia bag (on sale!); this striped and smocked midi; these pearl and heart earrings.
P.S. More golden moments and golden hours here. This year was full of them.
P.P.P.S. You are enough.