Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Indelible Dates


Not the kind you buy at my favorite specialty store nor the dates one has with friends, but the dates that remain on your calendar year after year—the indelible dates.

Today, September 15th is my daughter's birthday. Born on Rosh Hashanah to the words L’Shana Tova —-a blessed New Year filled with sweetness. She weighed in a little over five pounds, scrawny compared to her two-year-old brother who entered the world at seven pounds twelve ounces.

Happy Birthday to a daughter who drew pictures of Peanut's characters, named our dog Snoopy, loved magic markers and pads of drawing paper, who solved three dimensional puzzles, collected ice skating badges until the rink closed and the nearest rink was too far away for a working mom to manage.

Happy Birthday to a daughter whose birthday today falls two days before Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It is said that this is the time to ask forgiveness from those you have wronged the past year--or perhaps years before.

Happy Birthday to a daughter who studied fashion design because she loved the cut of clothes and the way some materials created particular effects. I never cared about styles, preferring instead my L.L. Bean comfortable pants and shirts. My daughter was a throwback to my mother. My mother used brown paper bags, opened and flattened on the kitchen table to draw her own patterns for clothes. If she found a dress she liked she studied the lines and came home and created a pattern.

Dates. My son and daughter-in-law were married on September 12th, my mother's birthday. They chose a Baptist minister who married them on the porch of an inn two blocks from the ocean. We took a family picture with a missing member of the family—then another picture with a different configuration.

Dates. I bought a five-year calendar with a bit over one inch for every day—not enough space to be philosophical or even too thoughtful—just sufficient space to list the events of the day; a place to list the where, when, and who, but not the whys. The why takes time and thought. Why did I do that? Why did that happen? What may also require more than a cursory statement. It isn't only what happened but why it happened. It's good to only have a small space to record the daily. What and why require space that has no artificial space boundaries.

Some whys take a lifetime to recognize and record.

Happy Birthday—L'Shanah Tovah Tikatevu
"May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for a good year."