Somewhere along the way, my little girl, who used to love her birthday, turned into a woman who doesn’t. I could go into the reasons I think she feels this way but the truth is it’s all conjecture. If she has found a way to put her ambivalence into words, she has never expressed them to me.
That doesn’t change how I feel about her birthday, that for me this is a special, even a precious, day. I haven’t said anything to her about my knee. I don’t mean I haven’t told her what I found out yesterday. I mean: I haven’t told her anything. I figured this Saturday she would come over with everyone else and we would all celebrate her birthday. I’d tell her what’s going one and, by then, I’d even have more answers.
But then her brother couldn’t be here. He went to a wedding last weekend and can’t take two weekend days off at his job. Not back-to-back anyway.
Then Rob got offered a gig to work at a venue he’s been itching to do. And with MRI bills and such, he couldn’t really afford to turn down a gig.
We figured we’d ask Matt if he could help out and we’d pay for his gas. But Matt’s a teacher and, anyone who teaches knows, weekends are not free time. He has papers to grade and such.
Which left us with Erin generously offering to drop Joe off at work and pick Shira up, bring her here, and then, when it was time to pick Joe up from work, they would take Shira home.
Only Shira is super busy, getting ready for the end of con season, working on commissions, and she can’t really afford to spend all day Saturday here. She was hoping to drop by for a few hours, have some pizza, some cake, open gifts, give kisses and hugs goodbye and be done with it. Remember, she doesn’t like her birthday, so celebrating it is an arduous task.
I feel like I’ve been fighting so much lately. I was fighting to get a job at the doctor’s office and now I’m back to fighting to find a job. I’ve been in pain and fighting my way through weeks of physical therapy. I’ve been fighting to not surrender to despair and seek ways that I can empower myself.
And now I have to fight to get my loved ones together so we can share a celebration together? Sheesh!
Ahhhhh . . . but I shall not be defeated. No way! Rob and I threw our hands up in the air and surrendered. I wrapped gifts while he made the batter. He went out to run some quick errands while I made pudding and took a shower. I dressed and we put the cake together.
Nothing is going to stop me from showing someone I love how much I love them. Nothing! Not even the rain!!!
We packed up the things—gifts and cake—and we headed off to see my one and only darling daughter. And yes, yes, yes, I am supposed to be taking it easy and not walking around outside the house because the ground is uneven and all but it wasn’t looking like Saturday was going to happen and, even if it did and could, it looked like I would have to go out anyway. At least this way Rob would be with me to keep me from being too careless.
We first took her to Mellow Mushroom but they are having a special and it was super crowded and noisy. The wait to be seated was an hour. There was just no way we were going to wait that long, not with my knee being painful and all. So we headed to Blue Moon pizza. What a brilliant idea. Less noisy. Less crowded. And equally yummy. Shira opened her gifts there and I had my first mojito. It was good. Sweet. I can see why it’s so popular.
After we ate an entire large pizza between the three of us, we headed back to Shira’s. We left most of the cake with her, taking out a single slice. But it was a really big slice. There won’t be any pictures of the cake, however, because it was a mess. Easily the worst looking cake Rob and I have ever made. But to be honest, I tasted it as I went along. The butter pecan with apricot cake itself was delicious. The flavor of the two fillings (vanilla pudding and apricot preserves) were delicious. And then the vanilla frosting was delicious. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to make the apricot roses I had hoped to make, using dried apricots. Oh well. Even perfectly pretty apricot roses would not have made this cake look like anything but a mess.
Messy it may have been but it is delicious. Downright decadent.
All in all, given how impromptu the whole evening was and how we had to shift gears from one place to another, we had a really good time with lots of laughter and love and even a few hugs. Thirty-two amazing years. I didn’t expect that she would continue to dazzle me as much as she did the first time the nurses put her into my arms.
Someday I'll try to make sense of that.
In the meantime, I'll just let myself be dazzled.