The 36-hour birthday

How to have a 43rd birthday a month after arriving in Australia:

Send the kids to their first day of school. Watch one or maybe both fighting tears as they get out of the car and make the long solo walk to their new starts. Feel simultaneously proud and powerless.

Go home and have a little empathic (and probably birthday crash) meltdown. Cry in your bed a little. 

Get up and go to a movie with your love, who has taken the day off  (and who patiently waited for the carthartic tearstorm to blow over). Have lunch. Go shopping. 

Get an ipad. Officially and enthusiastically join that fan club.

Happily chat with parents via phone, who have lovingly ushered you through 43 years since that noon birth in New York City in 1969. 

Pick up the kids from school. Feast on their stories and observations and--especially!--the knowledge that everything will work out. Remind each other that friendships and new lives are not made in one day. Or one month.

Walk into your favorite Italian restaurant for dinner.  Hear the waitress say "Oh! Welcome back! So nice to see you again!" Mentally give yourself a high five.

Go home and decide we're all too full to have birthday pie. Offically extend birthday celebrations to the next day.

Wake up to heart-filling facebook messages and birthday emails. Relish and savor each little word morsel and maybe revisit them a couple of times throughout the morning.

Exchange chat and gossip and affection with Lauren via the phone.

Do some laundry. Go on a walk. Look forward to pie tonight.

Enough. Now go and embrace the year ahead.