It was only three of us singing, and he kept lighting pretend candles and making real wishes, so I can't point you to the wish. But one of his wishes was for E to come home. I really miss her, he kept saying. I want her to come back now.
We're down a kid, just briefly, off having a hard-earned adventure and proving to herself just how brave she is. But it's a thing that happens, maybe especially with the last kid, that every milestone ties in my memories to another one, no memory forms in isolation, and the week of his half-birthday is the week where we first send away a kid to sleepaway camp. He's grown into an articulate human, finally, I sometimes think. Finally we have the family I always saw in my mind, all the players here at the table, and just as we've formed, they're already walking away.
Time isn't equitable. I don't buy that it moves too fast but some moments move faster than others; it stretches and contracts, and the parts I want to hold jump out of reach and change, snapped elastic skittering away.
The half-birthday continued its celebration today, gliding on its own momentum. The girl will be home tomorrow. The summer's almost over. And time keeps contorting.