At My Birthday Party

children in silhouette playing on the rocks
Teach us to count our days rightly – Psalm 90:12
It’s not the same as marking lines
on paper, not as satisfying,
but I grasp what my grandchildren offer,
a stylus tethered to a pink plastic board.
I tick off a decade — 10 verticals
when one grabs my wrist, asks
why not four lines, cut
with a diagonal, like in math?
So I scratch in tiny fences like on our old block,
split rails of green wood running sap.
We liked to dig in with our nails
until the fence posts grayed.
This is what 70 looks like, I say,
and this is you now, at 8.
Here is 5, your sister. And Pop-pop is 71.
But you know, he had a grandmother
who lived to 100, and I had one, too.
No one asks. They just stare,
fingers pulsing like seaweed
sifting waves, sifting words.
Just remember
how much I love you, I whisper,
every minute,
even when I’m not with you.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Ritualwell content is available for free thanks to the generous support of readers like you! Please help us continue to offer meaningful content with a donation today. 

Related Rituals

Shop Ritualwell - Discover unique Judaica products

The Reconstructionist Network

Serving as central organization of the Reconstructionist movement

Training the next generation of groundbreaking rabbis

Modeling respectful conversations on pressing Jewish issues

Curating original, Jewish rituals, and convening Jewish creatives

Jewish Spiritual Autobiography

 Writing a spiritual autobiography helps you to discover how teachers, touchstones, symbols and stories have led you to make meaning and understand the sacred in your personal story. In this immersion, join Ritualwell’s Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer, a writer and spiritual director, to map out and narrate your most sacred life experiences. Four sessions starting May 16, 2024. 

Get the latest from Ritualwell

Subscribe for the latest rituals, online learning opportunities, and unique Judaica finds from our store.

The Reconstructionist Network