Birthday MenuWedge salad with apples, blue cheese and balsamic vinaigrette -Dave
Pistachio chicken with a mustard cream sauce -Aaron
Grilled green and white asparagus with duck egg -Albert
Wild rice with sauteed mushrooms -Aaron
Caramelized apple bread pudding with boozy raisins -Aaron
Today, I turned 28. When I was little, 28 seemed quite aged to me; approaching antiquity, even. I imagined that by the time I had achieved such lifespan as this that I would have rescued half of Africa from starvation, written three great American novels, cured cancer, and met at least half of the important people in the world because they wanted to tell me how much they admired my paintings.
What I have done is cultivated a number of relationships with people of such fine quality that they enhance my life in inumerable ways, people I have loved, laughed and lived with. People who love me enough to make me dinner, and raise a glass to me on my birthday.
(we are blurry, but we are having a fabulous time.)
I have also learned some really valuable lessons on what it feels like to be myself. I used to imagine that I would have to do a lot of things in my life to be happy, and sometimes that's been true; I love to plant things in the dirt, to make my boys laugh, to put flowers on the table and make my home a beautiful living space. Other times, the most vital thing had nothing to do with doing: breathing through the contractions that brought my babies into this world, weeping at my brother's grave, lying next to my husband at night.
At my party, almost no one knew how old I was. It's never really mattered to me; I haven't ever really felt any particular age. When I was younger I didn't like for people to know my age because in one way or another, it didn't seem to match their expectation: my vocabulary made me sound older; I looked way too young to have kids; always there was some disparity. I felt it in myself, too; I was never quite at home with any particular number.
Now I feel quite at home, but it has nothing to do with numbers. Age is just one way to frame a person, but it really doesn't tell you anything about them. I have met some infants who seem like old souls, and I've met senior citizens who are young at heart, and all sorts of people in between and most of the time, when I look at the people I know, I don't think of a number. What I think of is what that person means to me, and what I mean to them.
That being said, I will probably still freak out a little bit when I turn 30. Still, it's hard to mind getting older(and yes, I know I'm not really "older") when I can look around the table and see a crowd of people I want to spend the rest of my life with.