10 January 2014
the year of
2013, the year of a thousand things. some of them good, really really good, some of them not.
it was the year of big things and small things. of spelling bee victories and shots scored at first basketball games. the year library books, floor picnics and record albums saved us. the year the jar of magical thinking kept us sane. the year of the return to modern dance class, the year my body returned in earnest. it was the year of the avocado, the year of the marionberry, the year of the clementine, the year of coconut oil, coconut oil for everyone, on everything, in everything, forever and ever amen. it was the year of the morning walk, the evening walk and all the walks in between. it was the year of the kind of firsts you don't really want to have: the first birthday she was not here in this world, the first mothers day she was not here in this world, the first summer without her. it was the year I realized I would always be motherless. always. it was the year of paris, the year of france. the year ava got her first passport and traveled with me across the ocean over a thousand little white puffy clouds to a foreign country for the very first time. the year of the mona lisa and the eiffel tower, the year of the parisian fleamarket and the croque-monsieur, of the accordion player and the almond croissant. the year of tiny pink forks and mysteriously wavy hair, of narrow cobblestone streets and dreamy crepes and candy-like strawberries. the year I fell head over heels crazy in love with the metro, the year I lost myself in a million metro stories. it was the year I said yes to big things, to scary things, the year of the happy frenzy with the french kids and the polaroids, the year of my sweet friend irene. it was the year I kept pinching myself to see if things were real. it was the year of broken friendships. of broken promises and heated arguments and words spoken too quickly, too carelessly. the year I let a few old friends go and welcomed some new ones. it was the year of the unorganized basement, the unorganized attic, the unorganized almost everything. the year I vowed to turn it all around. and failed, miserably. it was the year I stopped trying to do everything, be everything. the year I learned to do without, go without. the year I learned to let go.
it was the year of ava the skateboarder and the astronomer, of ezra the lego builder and the ball handler. it was the last year of the single digit birthday and the first year of the teenage birthday. the year ezra turned nine and ava turned thirteen. it was the year I fought the xbox. and lost. the year of six-second video vine-making and marathon minecraft-playing, of kite-flying and origami-folding, of lemonade stand-having and happy thing-making, of road-tripping and adventure-taking. of intricately-constructed backyard forts and first-time yurt camping. the year of sunflower fields and tide pools, of beach caves and concrete city slides, of pinball museums and drive-in movies, of boardwalks and sky candies. the year of astoria and port townsend, the year of santa cruz. the year I fell in love with the hills of butchertown and the streets of oakland. the year of jon and joy and eric and amanda, the year of bob and jen, of alix and greg and wolfie, of jenny and henry. it was the year of many, many humbling sorts of kindnesses, too many to mention here. it was the year of the feast, the year of the famine. the year work came in great fits and starts, the year we wondered how (if) we were going to make it. the year of portrait shoots and wedding shoots and uppercase magazine columns, the year of window-dressings and show-havings, the year of instant magic workshops with middle schoolers (and non-middle schoolers alike). the year of peel-apart film and the smell of fuji chemicals, the year of the zip and the whirrr of the polaroid camera. the year of the ingenious impossible project instant lab, of the weighty twin lens yashica and all those joyful little spools of 120 film. the year of fifty-two sundays and seventy things. it was the year of the photobooth. well, it is always the year of the photobooth. it was the year of the secret project, the secret wish, the secret hope, the secret handshake. the year I learned to say yes, the year I learned to say no. it was the year I walked through fire to get to the other side, the year I learned what it means to forgive, what it really and truly means to forgive. the year I leaned into the love of God and learned that it was (and is), indeed, infinite.