Photo by Jennifer Bergman

The Christmas tree is down. The space stands empty, ready to receive the turn of another year tomorrow. Liz Anne turns 14 tomorrow.

Someone asked if I was ready.

Who’s ready for change? Does it matter if we’re ready? I prepare myself by calling my kids the year ahead a few months before it arrives.

It’s nice to have a tree to take down before my baby turns 14. I can freak out about the accumulated dust. I can notice the walls scarred by two kids and so much living. I can sit after I clean out some of the cobwebs and try not to cry.

I can cry and be so glad. I can hold so many different emotions in one moment. In one day. In one lifetime.

This year we got a Christmas card from Kk’s doula. I had forgotten she was her doula, remembering instead all of the hours we spent knitting during the years after I became a mother. But I lay in bed that night and recalled how she was there to witness that huge transition. And today I worked at the bookstore and out of the corner of my eye I saw her: the doula, my old friend who I knit with on the nights that I needed to get out of the house.

All the years spin on the axles of my brain. The gears turn and stick and I push them with my tears. Catch up, I tell myself: your baby is turning 14 tomorrow.



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