Somebody hold me, my baby is six as of midnight.
I feel bad for her, because with the other kids there's a tradition of me telling them all about their birth as we go to sleep the night before their birthday. I didn't do that with her this year, because we stayed up too late making 48 mini spice birthday muffins (taste like ass, first time Mark Bittman has let me down and that cookbook is so used that the pages are literally falling out) for her to take to her class and to her daycare, and she started snoring before we were even settled into bed. But, last year, and other years before that, I did tell her about her birth and she was full of questions. Like, WHY were there holes in my heart, and WHY did I have to stay in the hospital so long, and WHY did I have a feeding tube up my nose, and WHY did I get borned by surgery, and WHY was I born early? And I tell her that she had a rough start, but that now she's big and strong and happy and fine. But, she's definitely a little off about it still, feeling sensitive about it, and maybe sad. Or, I could be projecting, because I know that six years later I'm still a little wobbly about it all myself.
I was thinking earlier today of something that happened to me when I was her age. I used to have a dog, Dizzy. I named her after Dizzy Gillespie when I was five (or so) which means that my parents were doing something very right. Anyway, Dizzy ran away one day and we never saw her again, but sometime between getting her and losing her, I got this little fuzzy dog figurine that looked just like her. Remember those? From the 70's? They were kinda furry, but definitely breakable underneath. Something between ceramic and porcelain. So, I had this figurine that looked like Dizzy, and it was sort of my pet. And one day, I told a neighbor girl that we should have a birthday party for Dizzy, and asked her if she wanted to come over later and do that. Now, in my mind, this was what kids call pretending, which was obvious, because I was planning a birthday party for ONE OF MY TOYS, but I guess that this girl was all about the literal because she showed up later in a party dress with a board game all wrapped up with a bow and a steaming, overly (I thought) pissed off mother who thought the misunderstanding was because I'd planned a birthday party for my dog and her kid said it was for me. Hopefully she never found out it was for a toy dog.
And, somehow, this was All My Fault, and the girl's mother had Spent Money buying this gift and it was a big old deal. I don't think my mom was mad at me, but I do remember quite clearly thinking that there was no possible way I could get in trouble for the whole thing because I never said it was my birthday, and it's totally not my fault if other people aren't paying attention. Geez.
I've always had an attitude, even back then.
Anyway, Willow's party this year is going to be at the park by her dad's house and I opted to let him plan the whole thing. Even the invitations. I will show up (it's on her weekend with him) and I'll bring a cake and a camera, but I'm not doing the party. I'm torn between feeling guilty and laughing my ass off with relief. I mean, I've got four kids, the oldest is 12. I have planned, plotted, and executed many a birthday party, pretty much by my lonesome, including one for a three year old that was a "Make Your Own Pizza" party that ended up costing me more than a week's worth of groceries. (I didn't plan for it to; those damn toppings just added up quickly.) And tonight she got her birthday dinner (steak, Annie's Mac and Cheese, broccolini, and chocolate store-bought birthday cake), and then we made 4 dozen mini muffins for her to take to her kindergarten class and to her before school daycare. (They suck, so if anyone asks if I made them, I'm totally going to say, No, her dad did. I can't eat gluten, how are they? I figure if he can blog crap about me, I can attribute this crap to him. Crap is crap, after all.)
It's past my bedtime.