My sweet baby, there should be no tears on your birthday. You should have only presents, smiles from your friends, and notes of love that remind you of everything wonderful growing another year older means.
I lean over you, holding your cold hand in mine, and your sobs break my heart. I feel your world-weariness, even as young as you are, heavy like a stone in your chest. Growing up means a driver’s permit, freedom, independence. It also means showing a face to the world that has swallowed its tears, at the head of its own table, licking the icing.