Birthdays are weird. They hold the most vulnerable, hidden, hardest parts and the most lovable, shining ones. Birthdays make a mess of nostalgia, secret disappointments, big wishes, and raw mortality. Something about hoping for more than ordinariness feels like a set up. You dream beautiful dreams and then you get rained out or your kid gets sick... sometimes, life is just like that. Then a beloved surprises you with flowers, or a long distance visit. Life is like that too. Or maybe it's that my birthday is sister to Autumn, the often emotional turning towards the dark, swampy, rich harvests and shedding skins. Or maybe it's that my birthday is my grandmother's, so no birthday is ever celebrated without loss.
This past year has been one of the sweetest, and one of the hardest of my life. I have blossomed into myself as a mama, partner, guide, and friend. I have learned more about how deeply I grieve, and in turn touched a deeper love. I have held great faith, protected my optimism, and opened the door again and again to hope. I have felt scared and alone, in this time of the "broken village". I work really f*ing hard, on a lot of levels. I am SO grateful for my life.
It's been a hard year, and a wonderful year. I haven't checked in about my son for a while, well, because it's really vulnerable. Last January he got sick, then we got food poisoning, then in February he developed a cross eye. (Potentially all related or unrelated) By April it transformed into an extremely rare eye condition called Cyclic Esotropia. Short story is his left eye switches from being totally normal, to crossed, every 24 hours. So every other day he's totally fine. And every other day, he's got a cross eye.
The process has been filled with love, struggle, and mystery...
It's like the alternating eye has become a way of life, alternating between normal and not, trust and uncertainty... you just, learn to live with it. It could be so much worse. Really, he is amazing, every-other-day is totally fine. Nothing is perfect. He will heal. He is healing. I'm exhausted. I'm infinitely capable of holding this. I trust him and this process. I surrender surrender surrender. I know we are going to be ok, and, it's hard. I am so. ready. for. this. to. be. over.
A wish that's grown in me, is how much I want real life contact with people who love us and want to hug us and play with us and live life together, who deeply know this witch-y semi-cross-eyed cool dude and his magical overwhelmed mama. People we see more than once every few months. People to bake muffins for and have late night tea with. People who just stop by. People who send us love notes in the mail. People who can handle me breaking down crying for ten minutes, then crack up, and rush off to the next thing, 'cause that's how it is... but at least we saw each other! People who want to be with us, make a village with us ~ without intricate advanced planning. Perhaps / guaranteed, this is missing for so many of us, certainly for me.
So, what's my birthday wish? I usually have some epic world-saving wish for the earth. I still do. But this year, this year I just want my son's eyes to heal. I want you to know me, know us, really, and wish for this too. I want his body to do whatever it needs to do to heal, now. I want us both to be free of this spell, to learn the lessons it is offering, and move forward with the wisdom, without the illness. This feels like a huge ask. I don't think I've ever made a birthday wish for myself. I almost don't feel worthy of this wish. But I am. We are.
Thank you dear ones, our near and far beloveds, for holding this simple, mortal wish for my son and family. And thank you everyone who has been with us, on all the levels. It means the world to me.
I love you,
Photos by the lovely Brooke Porter, who captured beautifully the spirit that dances Shaye and I into our special little love world.