I have turned forty-two. And so far, my senses are on hyperbolic overload with all that forty-two has already shown herself to be.
Forty-two sounded like, "Good morning, my darling… Alexa, play." And then forty-two sounded like Peter dancing me around the living room to the song, "And I Love You So" while I was still with my jammies and morning curly hair. Peter knows how to make Alexa do what he wants, when he wants.
Forty-two tasted like pancake flights: pineapple upside down, chocolate chip, cinnamon roll, and strawberry shortcake. It tasted like sides of bacon and banana-bread French toast, avocado eggs benedict, fried potatoes, and coconut-crusted French toast that literally makes you say, "oh, my gosh."
Forty-two sounded like Tyler writing silly lines of alliteration for the letters of my choosing: Evan's extravagant ears evoke earthquakes. In an unfortunate turn of events, our server appeared moments later, to introduce himself as Evan. His ears were perfectly regular, and we complimented them.
Forty-two sounded like my dad singing to me across a parking lot. He has been boldly and unabashedly celebrating me for four decades.
Forty-two sounds like my bicycle tires on sidewalk, gravel, dirt, and puddles for more than fifteen miles, while I listened to an interview with Anne Lamott through my new bike-friendly headphones. I smiled when she said, "I am loved beyond all sense of reason," and I decided that I am, too. I didn't even notice I was riding uphill and stretching my lungs, but I did notice a thousand Black-Eyed Susans flowering along the path, and I am absolutely confident they bloomed to celebrate my special day.
Forty-two tasted like an old fashioned soda, with blackberry syrup and half-and-half.
Forty-two looks like the hummingbird momma sitting on two baby eggs in a nest no bigger than a golf ball. The ladies who make the blackberry sodas have named her Lucy Longnose, and they say she's very popular among the gentlemen hummingbirds.
Forty-two looks like a little lending library hidden on the bicycle path.
Forty-two feels like the rough bark of a tree trunk, inscribed with our married initials. We were married under that tree, and when the lumberjack told us it was diseased and must be felled, Peter asked him to save the stump. It is finished and waxed, solid and lovely, now on the fireplace in our living room. When a beautiful thing dies, you save what you can and you move it inside and make it a beautiful part of your beautiful life.
Forty-two looks like Tucker's handwriting in a card, saying he likes the person I am.
Forty-two asks what do I know this year that I didn't know last year. I know that body shame is a habit that can be broken, that this body is strong and good. I learned that boys who are fourteen and fifteen are my favorite variety yet. I learned how much I enjoy my own company, and that I genuinely, truly and deeply, don't mind what happens.
Forty-two asks what I am excited about, and I finger-count a long list that includes two boys in high school, two writing workshops tot each, five books to release, our first live show for Let's Talk Soon, and a whole year of my own company.
Forty-two tucked me in with an Imitrex and an Ambien, because even good days have headaches and sometimes you have to sleep off that much joy.
Forty-two, my goodness. You came in like a parade.