Today is my mother's birthday. It's also the first birthday for any of the family when I haven't been there, and that's scary and sad. From what I understand, the family went up to Halibut Point in Rockport (one of my absolute favourite places - if you get a chance, go) for a birthday picnic and then will skype me once they're home.
I miss my family on days like this, on Sunday mornings where it rains in Portland (soft, pin-prick raindrops on the roof) and I can imagine my family making breakfast and then fruit salad and picnic stuff for lunch, gardening, doing the crossword, listening to music. And I imagine them here, in the Pacific Northwest where they might light the woodstove on cold rainy mornings and play music while my father makes french toast. I was so excited about the rain - it's starting to finally feel like I live here - and I almost wanted to call them with how excited I was. "Guess what, guys, it's raining! Check it out!"
But birthdays are hard to miss. I want to sit with them in the living room and open presents (my mother has no choice but to open mine last, as it's not in the post until tomorrow) and have cake. I want to picnic at Halibut Point and sit on the chalky rocks to watch the waves. And I really, really want to be there to hug my mother in the morning and sing her happy birthday as we bring in breakfast in bed and to be able to wish her a happy birthday in person.
Happy birthday, Mummy! I miss you!