Ive always treasured birthdays. My own more than anyone else’s actually. I expect to be treated special. I like to be pampered. I like to be surprised. I want to be treated like am a million bucks. I expect some folks who are in the closer circle to remember and wish me.I don’t particularly care for gifts, and I most certainly don’t think of its value except for the fact that they are being given to me as and extension of their love and thought.
Just for those 24 hours, I want to be in the spotlight. I love it. Once the night wears off, I want the lights off. I need my space. I need my corner and I need to just simply be.
Sounds selfish right?
If it makes any difference I like to do the same to my loved ones. I try. Sometimes I pull it off, sometimes I suck at it, but I try.
Close to 4 years ago, a teeny little thing came into my life. My extended life and physically far away but yet close enough in mind and the way far off things have an impact on your heart. I knew of her existence and her as a person by the few photographs her dad sent me. Without realizing, I grew to love her. We weren’t constantly in touch, but when we were, it warmed my deep insides when there was a mention of her.
You see, am awkward too. I don’t coo. I don’t cuddle and coddle and I am both incredibly expressive as much as I have an inherent block when it comes to certain relationships. I think it’s the fear of disappointment and rebuttal that’s made me that way. With her, it was hard to be openly warm because we didn’t and haven’t met. I tried. Distances and situations were difficult and I couldn’t. Also, there is thing about male friends. They are bozos. No, seriously, as comfortable as they are to be unassuming and allowing us females to ramble and throw a fit or talk, they are as difficult to understand and reciprocate and work on the nuances of relationships or the threads that can unknowingly bind two people with absolutely no rhyme or reason.
So I tried, very awkwardly and desperately and creepily too, I bet, to become friends with the mother. It was simple at best and am sure I put her off enough with my over zealous overtly enthusiastic nature and talk and well, it reached a dead end and I admitted failure with a heavy heart and had no choice but to walk away. When I came to my senses I mean.
I stuck to sending the little one gifts. Birthday in the summer and then the holiday gift. It wasn’t an effort, Ive always liked to plan the perfect gift, wrap it and then wait to hear about how much they liked it.
I know I am so full of myself here, so bear with me will you? :)
Of course they’d have to like what I send anyone, coz I mean, how can one not? I put in so many excruciating hours of scouring the net, reviews and on personalizing the gift to *their* taste and appreciation, that I cannot imagine why they would NOT like it. Well, any case that wasn’t the point to this. Most folks are gracious about what lands in their hands and if there is faith, there is even more abundance of grace to accept it and not feel obligated to return the thought in form or word. There is, however elegance in word. In the heartfelt deep word. More than in action or a return gift.
For awhile, I pestered the photographically-challenged dad to send me pictures. Then I gave up. I poured over pictures of her when her mom posted them and I used to get annoyed when the picture was out of focus or the angle wasn’t just right and such.
That’s the photographer in me talking, not the person.
I smiled at her impish smile and her unruly hair. The 5 year old fashionista’s purple-blue nails and the yellow striking glasses she sported. From her sparkly tops to the patterned leggings. To that fabulous one picture that sits engrained in my mind even if I cant see it anymore, where she welcomed spring rains with an umbrella and a raincoat and rain boots. A pop of red and white with that astonished wondrous look in her small eyes as she looked at the sky. It was a moment captured well and will stay a long while in most folks’ minds.
I envied everyone who spoke in tender tones about how fun she was, how adorable she was, and how spunky she was. I sat cross-country anchored down and i waited for my turn, patiently, for that someday to come. A day that never really came.
So this little girl grew in my heart and mind. She is a name that my munchkin and I know have come to talk every now and then. Munchkin asks occasionally when she remembers on how she is doing, and I answer what I know.
I so badly wanted to click her. Kids are cute and make great subjects but they are unpredictable too. I am not always keen, but i do try. She, I wanted to click. That age was a glorious one, having had 3 of them go through that period and regretting not being able to take pictures of them like I do now is a ship that has sailed. This one, I wanted to click. So badly. To do that required the same time-space moment. One that somehow never really happened despite me trying, hard.
I care too much.
It’s a disorder. One that slowly eats me inside, eroding me with its intensity and sweetness.
I cannot express anymore. I am an expressive person, but I cannot express more than I have with any more clarity, or sense.
Today is her 6th birthday. I have no picture, no news of her day and no inkling of what cake she had or what dress she wore or how this birthday was different from her last one. Not that I had huge inside roads to every single details of her earlier days here, but one can always have such questions. The same questions Ive had all these years but never really asked coz the time wasn’t right for a chat, mainly. Flip side to being friends with the dad/guy i suppose, they don’t care for details and ask more than a couple of questions and risk the OCD/stalker label or even worse annoy them enough to avoid you.
I remember her last birthday. I wrapped a gift within a gift 5 times so she peeled each one to signify each year for her 5th birthday. It was ridiculous fun for me, and I sure hope she had too and I was told she did. I wished I could have seen her unwrap. That’s the best part you know? To see the surprise and glee (or not) of whatever that popped out. To see her wear or use it is like the crowing glory of a gift for the one who gifts. Then again, that’s asking for too much, of time and interest, and that is stifling.
I remember a pink dress I sent her once. It was an exact replica of what I got for my own munchkin. It was a shimmery halter blouse with a whole bunch of taffeta and tulle in the skirt – so girly, so princess-y and it makes you want to scoop them in your arms and hug the beauty of being a girl in that phase. I remember seeing her in one after a few reminders and “badgering” of the dad on why that dress didn’t make the cut. (yep, if someone doesn’t complete the process, then it surely must mean it’s all your fault, right? Right.)
I know, am ridiculously silly. I get that way when I get close to folks.
To the rest, am as detached as water on a lotus leaf! To a fault.
On another note, growing up sucks coz it inhibits us. To be as free and expressive and unassuming as we are as children is a luxury. One that we can afford with just few and then sometimes even those few are embroiled in their own so much that you feel you are encroaching when you do take that step. It’s complicated. Needlessly too.
I wanted this day to be significant, coz this is a new phase and I don’t know where this will go and how it will morph, and hence the post.
Wishing the cutie loads of love and squishy hugs and hope she has an awesome day and a fabulous 6th year! It’s a milestone year, when children know just a bit more of the world around them, and not make sense of most which is a confusing wondrous age to be in. Where the learning kicks a notch up and the fun decreases in the way they’ve known so far. Where new experiences will scare and empower as much as entertain them.
Happy Birthday girl! :)
<3 – )