Cuz It’s a Bittersweet Symphony, This Life

14 years ago, nearly to the day, I was sitting on a Greyhound bus as it pulled slowly out of the Minneapolis bus station, staring out at gray skies from my window seat.  Mr. E had made me a mix tape, and I hit play just as the bus started up, and this song rang loud in my ears.  I had no idea where we were going, me and Mr. E, and life seemed like a muddled tangle of emotions  and blond hair dye and I felt alone and lost and for the rest of my life when I hear this song, I will be right back in that moment, a little sad, a lot confused, not at all sure where I am headed.

Last night Mr. E and I both had this same song stuck in our heads, and he played it for me, and so there I was, part of me in that moment in the bus station, the other part of me making cupcakes in our kitchen because our baby boy turns four years old today.

If you had told me on that lonely bus ride, fourteen years ago, that someday I’d be here, frosting cupcakes in my tiny house with my tiny boy and my baby girl and Mr. E, I am sure part of me would have thought you were crazy, but I am sure I would have smiled, too.  I don’t think I’d have been too surprised, somehow.  Regardless, no matter what else comes along, no matter how bittersweet this life may sometimes be, there is one thing I am certain of.  There is nowhere else I’d rather be, today, than right here.

Happy Birthday, my wonderful boy.  You make the ride so worthwhile.


16 Responses

  1. Happy birthday! He’s so handsome. Love the picture.

  2. Oh Eli, happy happy birthday. You beautiful, sweet boy.

  3. That was both the song that was my ring tone for much of the 90s and early 00s AND the song we walked down the aisle to as newly-announced husband and wife, courtesy of a lovely string trio!

  4. Happy birthday, Eli.

    Congrats on four whole years of parenthood, Elizabeth. You’re kicking ass at it, I promise you.

  5. Bon Anniversaire, Monsieur Eli! Good Lord, you’re a handsome child.

  6. hooray for life and love! Happy birthday!

  7. You all are very lucky indeed!

  8. Happy Birthday Eli!

  9. Happy birthday to Eli!

  10. HANDSOME. Happy cupcakes, Pants!

  11. Happy birthday, Eli!

  12. Oh you made me cry AGAIN.
    I know exactly what you mean.
    Happy Birthday to your beautiful boy!

    Also, I love that song.

  13. happy birthday, Eli & mom!

  14. Happy birthday (belatedly) to your very cute little boy!
    Also, I’ve loved that song since forever (the whole album, in fact, particularly “The drugs don’t work”) but the video just cracks me up – how big is Richard Ashcroft’s nose? It looks unreal! And the faces of the people he walks in to are hilarious! Plus, it just looks sooooo British that it even manages to make me feel a little homesick!

  15. You stinker! You made me cry!

  16. (And Happy Birthday–late–to that handsome boy!!)

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