Today I've had the luxury of pampering myself with what my kids call "treats": After the two older kids were at school, the baby and I went on our way. I had pancakes for breakfast. I got my eyebrows waxed and shaped. I bought my semiannual Frappuccino. I read dozens of sweet birthday wishes on Facebook and Twitter and Gmail. These are small indulgences, certainly, but ones I won't take for granted.
Thirty-one was a momentous year. I had a new house, a new (and unexpected) pregnancy and then a new baby. I somewhat settled into suburban life. I hosted my first holidays. I went camping with old friends. I flew down to Florida twice and to San Francisco for BlogHer. I returned to New York for Marathon Sunday, Mother's Day, and my 10th college reunion. And... I realized that my mother's dying.
What will 32 bring? I know there will be joy, laughter, and happiness -- every year has its share of those blessings. It might also bring death, grief and sadness. I don't know, and neither does anyone else. But I promise myself today that no matter what this year has in store, I will try to live in the moment, to not worry too much or dwell too often on what is likely to happen in the next year.
Tomorrow, I will go down to Tampa, where my siblings and I will gather to celebrate Mami's 67th birthday (it's Monday; I was her early 35th birthday present). The eight grandchildren will all wear the "Team Abuela" baseball tees my good friend Audrey screened. We will be together as Mami's children and Abuela's grandchildren. I don't know if Mami will make it to 68, but this weekend it's not that important, really. All that matters is that we're a team, and I can't think of a better birthday present than the knowledge that no matter what, I'm not alone.