Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Boots

My sister's birthday was yesterday. My littlest sister, the sister I still have dreams about as a baby, as a child. The sister who's the first person I call in a crisis. The sister with a limitless supply of good advice who will always tell me what will help when I'm frustrated or sad, when the fever won't go down or when The Kid's throwing up. She's an inspiring powerhouse of a mother – but there's a lot more to Boots than that.

We were talking this week about birthdays and how they dim when you're an adult and a parent. We agreed that keeping your expectations low and rolling with the punches are the best way to survive without ending up clutching a handful of disappointment on your big day, how magical birthdays are somehow behind us at this stage in our lives.

When Boots turned sixteen, she was living with me in Maine and I threw her a sweet sixteen party. A friend of ours cooked a huge Italian dinner and each participant brought a poem to read. After dinner, we sat in candlelight and read poem after poem. It was a truly magical evening and one that we will always remember. That's the kind of woman she is, someone who at sixteen wanted nothing more than poetry for her birthday.

Poetry and candlelight (and even on-time birthday wishes) can be hard to come by when you're raising kids and running a house but that's my wish for Boots, a little poetry on the day after her birthday.


To move
Needing to be
nowhere else.
Wanting nothing
from any store.
To lift something
you already had
and set it down in
a new place.
Awakened eye
seeing freshly.
What does that do to
the old blood moving through
its channels?

Naomi Shihab Nye


  1. Lovely. I love Naomi. And I love your homage to your sister.

  2. I really liked the poem--thought-provoking.

    Lovely post--happy birthday, Boots!

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