Friday, April 3, 2015
So Squish turned nine today.
She got a cotton dress for her birthday, her favorite type, and automatically put on the cardigan, cause she knew it would match.
Of course it would match.
Chicken got some work clothes for Easter (early since she leaves tomorrow) and Squish got the dress, and without even asking they both put them on early.
I had to get a picture.
Squish's friend, we shall call her Banana Jello, stayed the night-- there was going to be three girls doing the overnight thing, but, well, it's the Friday before Easter-- not only did she only get one (and on the wrong day) but she also will only get one other friend at her pizza party.
It was sort of funny. I was telling her about the small turnout this morning, and I felt bad. It sucks to throw a party when nobody can come. And while I was dealing with that, I was also dealing with trying to explain my cover vision to my cover artist and publisher, and realizing that even if they could put exactly what was in my mind onto the page, it wasn't going to be the way I dreamed.
Her eyes got really hurt and shiny, and I started to cry-- completely unexpectedly.
It was like, just that sudden, I knew exactly what it was like to have a perfect picture in your head of what something wonderful was supposed to be, and have the real world tell you it can never be like that. In that moment of frustration, I was nine, and hurt because the world wasn't the way I thought it should be, and the disappointment was acute and real.
Then Squish pulled back from the hug and smiled. "Mom, what's wrong?"
"Nothing, hon. You'll have a good time. Next year, we'll have the sleepover not during spring break."
And the smile turned to sunshine. "Okay. It will be good. We can have a sleepover this summer maybe. That should be good too."
When Zoomboy was born and we had the "when do we shut down the baby machine" discussion, we decided to shut it down at forty. We were, at the time, thirty-six. It didn't occur to us that we would shave a baby between thirty-six and forty, (because we're stupid) but when we came to the decision that we would stop at three, I had this dream of our family in a snapshot, and of the shadow of a red-headed blue-eyed freckled toddler, fading from the picture like the brother and sister in Back to the Future. I remember crying in the dream, because I missed that vision of a child so much. When I got pregnant, I knew that baby would be Squish, and yes-- Squish looks exactly like I envisioned, the only baby to do so.
But unlike the visions of book covers and birthday parties, Squish has never been less than that vision. She has always been gloriously, imperfectly, awesomely more. She has always exceeded every expectation I've ever had of a child. No, she doesn't always brush her teeth, and she tries to get away with as little work as possible-- but that's every child. As a happy, bright, truly individual ray of sunshine, Squish is better than any picture, any vision, any anticipation of what a kid should be.
Happy Birthday, Squishy. You'll never know how much I love you, until you have a child of your own.