At this point in time three years ago I was pacing the halls at the hospital. I was trying to get the contractions that the nurse called “textbook perfect” to actually do anything. I was trying to will my little girl out into the world. I was wishing for my baby.
Now, having just put her to bed and understanding all that my wishes entail, I wonder if I was in too big a hurry. Then I think about the past few days and realize that if I’d known I was going to end up here, I would have wished and willed even harder.
Tomorrow, Fiona will be three years old, but we had her party on Saturday. It was pretty simple. No planned out games, though all the kids had fun. No entertainment, the adults just hung out on the blankets talking while the kids played with balloons and bubbles. Sweet and simple. Candles were blown out and cake and ice cream were eaten.
Presents were opened. Toys were shared. The summer morning sun dappled the grass and the kids played with a good humor that gave the whole moment a rather surreal idyllic air.
Fiona ran back to me from where they were playing with a dandelion puff. “Help me blow the wish, Mommy.”
I carefully squished the slightly immature “wish” so that it would free the seeds with her breath. Holding out the puff I said, “Okay, Baby, make a wish!”
So softly that it was more a breath than words, I hear her say, “I wish for a tiger.”
And off on to the breeze she blows the dandelion seeds.
I laugh out loud, and she smiles at me. “Baby, did you just wish for a tiger?” I ask.
She nods shyly as all the adults look on, “Yeah.”
“Did you wish for one with your candles too?” I ask.
She looks at me through her eyelashes, “Yeah.”
And then she runs off to play, to poke at the dirt with a stick, to chase the other children, to giggle, to dance, to be a part of this great big, wonderful, messy thing we call life.
I watch her and I remember my wish from that night three years ago. I wanted her here. I wanted her healthy. But my wish, my wildly improbable, irrational wish, was that she be a spit-fire. I wished for a tiger.