So, it turns out the 51st birthday wasn’t so bad. I got many loving messages from friends and family near and far, many of whom I didn’t expect to hear from.

I made cupcakes and sang and shared them with the little people, who really love cupcakes, and cooking, and also are lovely and loving and lovable.

I visited with my friend Michael at the park and we talked about what it’s like to be 51 and 65, what it’s been like to be different ages, what we hope we’ve learned and are learning still.

My co-teacher Anne was steady and kind and a pleasure to work with and my other co-teacher Liana is recovering nicely from the surgery she underwent yesterday, and it is a big gift to know she is doing well.

My son made cake number two, and was home in time to have dinner with me and my old friend, who showed up with flowers, her super power, and positive energy and good stories, and a love for my son, who she’s known his whole life. The stew was delicious, the hard cider I’d bought for my older son which we never drank at Thanksgiving was yummy. We topped the meal off with the cake and tea my son gifted me, third year of this fine gift, becoming a tradition.

The improv show was one of the funniest I’ve seen. I laughed beside my friend in a sold out theater of appreciative guests, all laughing and smiling for ninety minutes of sheer fun.

When I got home, there was more cake and more tea and a computer full of well wishes from folks all over the world writing to say they were thinking of me.

It turns out that even a birthday that coincides with a break up can be quite lovely. Even my fine man, who is no longer mine, managed to send me two just right cards, and I was able to use the lovely napkins and the lovely tea pot he gifted me at our parting breakfast, and not cry. I’m making progress. I’ve been and am loved. Hard to complain about that.

Perhaps the most interesting wish I was gifted was hope for a fine year to come, and faith that good things are in store.

The world is large. Love abounds. On a birthday I worried I would be alone and lonely, that did not happen. Instead I felt surrounded, held, loved. At fifty one, that’s the biggest gift of all, nothing else required. G’night.