Eleven years ago I became a mother. I got exactly 43 seconds today to sit and contemplate that feat.
Woke kids up, gave Jane gifts. An LG Neon slider phone that her uber hipster aunt also happens to have, from Mom and Dad and a copy of New Moon from her brother Alexander. Both gifts were perfect, the book went to school with her.
They got to eat Cookie Crisp for breakfast. Twice a year my kids can pick any crappy cereal they want, it can be laden with sugar, HFCS, transfats and other frankenfoods, they get to begin their birthday with whatever disease the grocery store is selling us, 14 ounces at a time.
I brought Jane to school, stayed while the flag was raised and Happy Birthday was sung to my daughter. I bought the library a book in Jane’s name and hid it for the librarian to find on her own. I came home, cooked and baked, visited doctors and turned right back around to pick Jane up from school again. This time she had a basketball game. Jane scored 6 of the 11 points, and though the other team was terrific they just couldn’t get more than one basket.
Girls were playing their toughest games and smiling the whole time. It was kids sports at it’s best.
We went to dinner at a theme restaurant at Universal Citywalk. Jane was gifted Abercrombie’s and Hollister’s Fall line. She was appreciative. Alexander was given four packets of baseball cards, he was through the roof. My son experienced more joy from tiny pieces of printed paper than anyone else at the table. For a moment we all envied Alexander and his capacity to be delighted. Then the next moment arrived and we all delighted in Alexander.
Driving home there was Hits 1 and moderately acceptable music. He says that his music is better but I’m not convinced that the Killers and the Arctic Monkeys are better role models than Lady Gaga and Jessee McCarthy.
Tucking them in, my eight year old and my 11 year old who this morning thought they had everything and tonight realize they do. Tucking them in takes a few extra seconds, because I hold his hug just a beat longer and after I kiss her cheek I smooth her hair off her face and check the delicate lines of her nose. I’m looking for a hint of me, but I never see it until she runs. She is a Gottlieb, and sigh, because I used to feel shallow about enjoying my husband’s handsomeness, but now I feel smug and even almost smart.
Because this little girl, who looks so big if I look at her long enough, this tiny child is my child. And somewhere, I don’t know when or where, she made me an adult. She gave me permission to revere our home and put these relationships on a pedestal, where they belong.
Jane made us adults. A few years later Alexander came along and made us a family.