Sunday, November 23, 2008

"Make new friends, but keep the old; One is silver and the other gold..."

Youngest has started Daisy scouts, and the campfire favorite is stuck in my head.
"Does that mean that new friends are better than old friends?" One child asks.
"No," I reply, explaining that it's important to keep in touch with special friends but it's also important to play with lots of different people.
My oldest pipes up, informing me that silver is ever so much better than gold.
I agree that silver is pretty, and she rolls her eyes in a way that only tweenage girls can master. "Moooom, it's BETTER than gold. People do CRAZY things for gold. I wouldn't want Gold."

That girl. I love her but I worry about her. This is the same child who, when asked if she would like to be an actress when she grows up, thought very carefully on the subject and then said yes. She'd enjoy being an actress very much if "they" promised not to pay her any money.


That's right. Well, she amended, they might be able to pay her like 1 or 2 dollars. Or maybe enough to adopt a dolphin. But not a lot. She definitely doesn't want to be a millionaire. That sounds like too much responsibility.

Youngest on the other hand would like to have more holidays like St. Patricks Day and Easter, when she might find a few coins hidden specifically for her to find. She very seriously tells me that she needs more money, but chores are way too hard for someone whose only 6.

So am I doing something wrong? Or something right?
The hardest part about parenting is that I might never know...Unless they tell me in 20 or 30 years.

Friday, November 07, 2008

My girl, my miracle

Last night was a rough night for my youngest. So I whispered, as I often do, that I love her. And I called her my little miracle.
Because that's what she is.
"Why?" she asked.
"Well, because," I answered. And again began the funny story of her birth.
You see, I thought I was pregnant. But the doctor said no.
And of course, in the end, she was born. Against a few odds.
The story makes her laugh. But it isn't what she wanted to hear.

"But why?" she insisted. Why indeed? Simply because. Because she lights up my days, because she makes me laugh, because she completes our family. Because she's her irreplaceable self. There are too many reasons to count. That doesn't satisfy her, either.

"Did you know you saved my life?" I finally say, and she sighs and snuggles close. If she hadn't been diagnosed with a nut allergy, the pediatrician would never have thought to look for allergies in her big sister. And if he hadn't put big sis on an allergen free diet, I wouldn't have noticed I felt better on one too. And then I never would have seen the allergist who told me my "panic attacks" sounded like anaphylactoid reactions.

More importantly, I'd never have spent a full day out and about at Disneyland. I'd never have spent hours at the park, and sitting through a 2 hour play would still be painful. The possibilities fill my mind and make me shiver. "You won't survive a year," echoes in my head. I keep those thoughts to myself. I wasn't living when I was sick, I was only surviving five minutes at a time.

"You saved me by teaching me how to save you," I tell her and she grins, and snuggles close and tells me she's my angel. And she is.