My girl turned fifteen yesterday. In the photo above she is having her traditional birthday breakfast treat (a chocolate-covered doughnut) by candlelight because the power had been out in the hurricane.
Lucy has shot up so much in the last year — to 5’8″ — only a couple more inches until she catches up to me. The planes of her face have shifted and one can see the young woman she is on her way to becoming.
When she was born in 1997 the doctors in California had told me she might have a small corrective surgery when she was older, say, fifteen. I had reported this to my mother in Connecticut on the phone. My mother observed philosophically, “I won’t be here then.” Holding my baby in my arms, my eyes had filled with tears.
Last night, watching Lucy exclaim kindly over her birthday presents — “Ski poles! Perfect!” — I remembered this exchange and had to wink back tears again. Lucy has grown up without either of her grandmothers, both of whom adored her and would have enjoyed her so much.
Sometimes the turning wheel of life can feel more like the track of a tank. I make new resolutions to find the joyful treasure in every passing moment.
Yesterday Lucy herself was bubbly. All day long, at school, at ski practice, on the phone and by email, friends and relatives had wished her a happy day. “I feel so . . . loved!” she exclaimed.
Of course that is the treasure.