One Two Buckle My Shoe

Roxanna Elfea Fern, you are now TWO.

You are old enough to pick out your own awesome outfits.

Old enough to finally understand that earplugs are not for eating.

The day dawned as the warmest of the year (finally!) and amazingly we managed to snag the same spot in Dolores Park as last time. As the park teemed with hipsters and pot smoke, our friends and family trickled in. There was watermelon juice and dandelion wine, cupcakes, honey cake and apple crisp, puppets and balloons. Fern got a major sugar high and, cackling maniacally, rolled around in mud and fleed from her party, only identifiable by the balloon we tied to her dress. Mama got flowers and hugs and soothing words of celebration and condolence. There was love and laughter and total chaos. It was awesome.


Beautiful purple birthday dress, part of The Incredible Surprise Package of Goodness from Heather.

Lisa and Preston. Grandma is in town, and all of Fern’s cousins and Great Aunt and Uncle were there. I am so excited for the connection all the kids are making, and so grateful for the time that I get to spend with my own cousins who were my playmates as a kid and are my bedraggled parent conspirators now.

Staged photos turned into a circus.

I made Fern a doorway puppet theatre, and she was gifted many homemade puppet friends.

Polar Bear puppet by America, and Woofy Dog by Cleo. Not featured are also Lady Gaga Dragon Snake by Sandi, Sweat Sock Snake by Shannon, the re-gifting of the Purple Crested Orange Fluff Bird that I made for Kate, Raccoon in a garbage can from brother Leo, Change Fishie from Mamajax and COW from Grandma.

Last years birthday came upon me with surprise and for days afterward I wanted to stop the clock to catch my breath and savor the moment. If I have learned nothing else this year, it’s to take my moments on the run, saturating with presence the now now now. So much lately I have been swimming with the Plutonic themes of grief and rebirth, a dance partner that teaches me to watch my step, to hitch up my skirt, to keep my balance while I spin and love while letting go. Fern’s birthday was in keeping with this theme, as I was dizzy with the flurry of the day, only stopping once home with pizza and puppets on the couch. Jeff said, “Now I’m ready for the real birthday party, the one that is more intimate and slow.”. Indeed that would have been ideal for the slow savoring of precious TWO…yet we got nothin’ but reality here. It is what it is…and IT is pretty wonderful.

(Thank you for your kind words and thoughts about Leo. There is so much I could say, yet I find I don’t want to say anything at all. This part of the mourning process is so intimate. I am still in private conversation with Leo, with my heart. Your acknowledgement of his beauty and importance helps me to feel not so lonely, but right now there is much to be done alone.)

Love to all!


3 thoughts on “One Two Buckle My Shoe

  1. what a fun day! the puppet theater is adorable and will supply so much creative play for cute little fern.

    isn’t it crazy how quickly our babes grow. it seems like yesterday that my oldest son was born and now he is 12 and in seventh grade! it wasn’t that long ago that i was in 7th grade (ok. maybe it was, but it doesn’t seem like it). in a blink of an eye they get older and older. i wish i had savored the moments more with my older two, but maybe that’s a downside to having children so young. i feel like now that i’m older and little less selfish and self absorbed, i have finally embraced motherhood. so, i’m always happy and inspired by women, like you, who embrace it with their 1st child.

    happy birthday fern!

  2. awesome puppet theatre! we’ve been getting more into puppets too…..such a fun world. happy birthday to your sweet little cherub!
    i really wanted to comment about your dear Leo, but i just couldn’t find the words for something so mystical and complex. just know that i shed many tears over here on this side of the computer connection. true heartfelt tears. ♥

  3. I love it! My daughter has the same rat — the black one AND the white one. She loves them so much that I was thinking about making the “theme” of her upcoming 2nd bday party “rats.” Will people think that’s gross? I don’t know, but if they do… I hope they’ll keep it to themselves.

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