I've been trying to write a post about Naomi's birthday since Monday. Happy birthday Naomi! My special big girl! You're five now and I couldn't be more awed by you! You think such funny things! This is the best I can come up with because everyone thinks it's National Scream At Mommy Week.
I wanted to to do it justice because my own 5th birthday is the first one I remember really clearly. I woke up before dawn to find presents in my bedroom. I got a leotard that was purple with horizontal red stripes that I wore for years afterward. I got a pair of off-white legwarmers, and I got yelled at when I ripped the tag off and made the knit run. Since then I have always been extremely careful ripping the tags off of anything. My mom took me by by bus to my aunts house (you know you're getting close to Aunt Reen's if you see railroad tracks!) and then we did something all day that I don't remember. We ended up at Friendly's eating ice cream and I got some Strawberry Shortcake figurines that I still have, that Naomi plays with now.
I wanted to write well about her birthday because it's that time when her awareness is dawning, when her impressions are lasting. In other words, everything I do becomes part of her personal narritive. It becomes her story. It is subject to her interpretations. Now, everything I do is fair game to be brought up in therapy five, ten years from now, and hashed out for an hourly fee. The thought of that warms me and cools me at the same time. I love that she's grown into her own person. But I fear what she'll think of my actions. The repercussions are ever-present. This is the big leagues of parenting: when it's not your own story that matters anymore. Her story matters just as much. My word against hers, etc etc.
If I was a perfect parent I suppose this wouldn't matter. But I have a feeling that tooth fairy episode might come back to haunt me.
I still haven't bought her birthday present (but I will nxt week, after I get the cage), which I've decided will be two lab rats because they are smart, sociable, cheap and easy to care for, and hard to kill. Really, you can feed then almost anything and they'll be fine. Not like hamsters, which will die if you look at them funny.