A letter to my daughter on my birthday.
My dear heart,
It is customary in these parts to post letters of reflection on our children’s birthdays. But at my age and altitude, a birthday is everyone’s birthday and I can no longer split the difference.
There were stirrings that something was up with you of late. A scurry and hush as I walked into your room. The scattered remnants of things cut out, disassembled, refashioned. You assured me that I would love the present you were making for me, if only I could wait.
This was new for you. Not new to make something, no that isn’t new. But to make and keep a secret of your own. To guard yourself so well and to let excitement crest in your own sturdy chest.
In the morning I came into the kitchen and found the surprise you had snuck overnight onto the center of the table, mimicking every birthday of your own, starting the party at dawn, because not one moment of a day so long awaited can be wasted.
I found a box.
Inscribed with the curious glyphs of a language you now own: