My niece, the one in white wearing sunglasses, turned 40. I remember when she was born clear as if it happened just yesterday. I have arrived at the stage in life where I say things like that, and mean them deeply. Her grandmother is my Aunt Grace, my mother's sister, the only one of the nine siblings still living. She's 91 now, and doesn't she look fantastic in sunglasses of her own, surrounded by her daughter, two of her granddaughters and one of her eight great grandchildren. These women reinforce each others' glory. Their beauty and joyfulness dazzle me.
Last Saturday, one of my daughter's beloved lifelong friends (front and center) celebrated her 25th birthday at a place in Soho. The Six were all there, a soul group back together after scattering for college, all of them beautiful young women now, radiant as ever, loving each other for two decades already—and counting. They are more than good friends at this point. They are family. That's my girl in the jean jacket, second from right. She said the evening was magic.
Another of my heart daughters had a birthday last weekend. She turned 24. My daughter took those photos of her at her birthday brunch on Sunday. The two of them shared a room in our home in the summers after seventh and eighth grades, when they attended a scholars program together and got punch drunk from too much homework, giggling and choreographing dance moves till the wee hours. And a year ago they explored China and Thailand together. She is a force of nature, this one, fierce, stylish, unbound.
I posted this picture of my husband and me as newlyweds on Instagram, and people went a little wild, wondering if that was really us. It is, just with a lot more hair. Thirty-one years later, my Valentine gave me a leather wrist cuff with a single word engraved on it. Loved.
The artist and creator of these original, one of a kind wrist cuffs is The Black Snapper. You can find her at blacksnapperdesign on Etsy. She is, herself, beloved.