I already ate a lot of cake but I wouldn’t turn down some really good gingerbread

It’s May 2, and as of this moment I am slightly chilly. This is a wonderful feeling, particularly since it cannot last: the trajectory of this week’s weather is up, up, up. Right now it’s 63 degrees, and by Friday it will be 102. I suppose I have to accept that summer is really coming now; it’s no longer too early. But I can still enjoy this last cool morning while it’s here.

This past weekend was my birthday. (Yes, the whole weekend, or near enough. That’s how we do it.) On Saturday, Dave and I had cake for breakfast and went on a shopping spree at Antigone Books. We went bowling, I hit three strikes in a row, we ate more cake, we drank champagne, we watched the new Avengers movie, and for good measure we re-watched Thor: Ragnarok on Sunday (my actual birthday), because a bit Taika Waititi never hurt anyone.

It was a wonderful weekend, and I have to say, I was surprised to feel relief on Monday, when it was over. That’s just out of character. My birthday is a time for attention, for growing up, a time for fresh fruit to come into season. As a child I took everything personally, so spring belonged to me, April belonged to me, the letter ‘A’ belonged to me. Mine were strawberries, cherry blossoms, lilac blooms, frozen blueberries, almond poppyseed cake.

But this year, it all made me a little anxious. I still told everyone, but I didn’t always want to tell them. I had fun, but I was also stressed out by how much fun I was supposed to have. Maybe it’s because I have a book coming out so soon, and publication season already means asking everyone you know to turn towards you like a flower to the sun. It is that grandiose and that tender.

Maybe I should just calm down.

One of the best things I did was also the most ordinary: sit in my studio and draw a cartoon, with Dave sitting beside me on the couch and Paul napping at our feet. It’s nice to be reminded that my favorite thing is not to ask or to receive but to create; my favorite person to be near is the one who’s already nearest.

I look forward to another year of this, and who knows what else. You can’t guess everything.