Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Today is the day. You are twenty-five years old as of 3:20am pst. I have been thinking alot about this auspicious birthday and thinking alot about myself at twenty-five. I had been married three and a half years by that point, I had abandoned my career as a teacher, we had moved, yet again, and I was fairly directionless.

Not you. You have direction and I am in awe of your work, and research and passion as you strive to make this world a better place for your community and for yourself. You are often swimming up-stream and I know how hard that is. I didn't start swimming up-stream until I was quite a bit older than twenty-five. I am still swimming up-stream, and it doesn't get any easier, but I wouldn't swim in any other direction and I hope you feel that way too. Going against the flow is challenging, frustrating, lonely, and, well, just plain hard. But there it is. Hard, isn't easy, but it does create new capacities in a way that easy never will.

This year has been pivotal for you, and for you and I, and I think, through it all, it has been a good year. I feel closer to the real you. I think you feel closer to the real you. Real is good.
So perhaps that is something about being twenty-five. Life is real. Life is hard. Life is good.
I am proud to be your mum. I am proud to be your confidant. I am proud to share your songs, and articles and points of view with the world. You are so much braver than I am, and your bravery sustains my faith in the future.

Twenty-five and in grad school, in love with a good woman, and surrounded by good friends and strong connections to home and family. That is all I could have wished for you at 3:20am twenty-five years ago, if I was thinking that far in the future. As it was I was just so damn excited to have a daughter I really couldn't imagine another second beyond the one I was experiencing.

Being a mother was always what I wanted. But that want was theoretical and based on little more than a fairy tale or two. Being your mother is a gift.

You are a gift.

Happy Birthday. And like that little mermaid you were,singing on the living room floor, oh so many years ago.....just keep singing. And swimming.

The next 25 years will be amazing.

I love you. Forever and always.

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