March 21, 2009

February 26th and 28th, 2009

Pictures of Kacie taken last month in TicTac

I bought the card in advance this year, with care: twenty-five minutes spent in the greeting card aisle, searching for just the perfect blend of maternal sentiment and whimsy, as my husband waited patiently in Frozen Foods.  

It took time, but I found it.

I underlined the words that spoke true and deep, from my heart to hers  --  I love you, and I dream big dreams of deep and dazzling joy for you  --  and then I signed it with the usual x's and o's, in handwriting that seems to resemble my mother's hand writing more and more each year.  I tucked a handful of photos into the card, taken last month during my visit to TicTac  ...  Kacie and her boyfriend smiling at me from across a booth at Taco Time; the two of us together at the family reunion at her grandmother's house; Kacie in strawberry-colored pigtails at Black Angus, on the last day of my trip.  (I reached over and tugged at one of the pigtails, as we sat there waiting for her to-go order. "These remind me of your kindergarten picture," I said to her wistfully  ...  remembering a little girl a blue flowered dress and Pippi Longstocking hair. "Yeah, I'm getting really old," she sighed.)  

When the card was signed, I added the requisite cash  ...  not as much as in previous years, but enough for a new pair of fluffy Happy Pants, hopefully, and maybe a nice dinner out  ...  plus a sprinkle of that annoying tinfoil confetti we all love so much.

And   --  of course  --  the traditional button, dime and safety pin.

When I was growing up  --  and then later, when Kacie and her sister and brother were growing up under my lovingly demented supervision  --  the birthday button/dime/safety pin were wrapped in miles of tin foil and buried deep inside the bottom layer of a lumpy Duncan Hines. These days, they're scotch-taped to the bottom of a Hallmark.  (That's OK.  It's lots less messy that way.  It's certainly less potentially DEATH-INDUCING that way.)  According to family folklore, if you found the button in your slice of cake, it meant you would grow up to be drop-dead gorgeous. Finding the safety pin predicted a dozen future children, all with his eyes and your smile. And the dime, of course, signified vast limitless amounts of money and good fortune and ugly designer handbags.  

But that was then.  

Just as the method of delivery of the button/dime/safety pin *birthday wish system* has changed, over the years, I'm thinking that maybe their significance needs to evolve, as well.  That's why this year the button still signifies beauty  ...  but from now on we're talking about achieving the inside kind of beauty, as well as the outside kind.  The safety pin is now about love and family, wherever/whenever/with whomever you find them.  And the dime? Well, the dime doesn't go as far as it used to, obviously  ...  but I think that from now it will be less a wish for material wealth than for physical ease, emotional comfort and spiritual purpose.  Plus a new pair of nice fuzzy Happy Pants, once in a while.

These are just some of the things that I wish for my daughter today, on her twenty-sixth birthday.

I love you, Kacie, and I dream big dreams of deep and dazzling joy for you.

Happy Birthday!

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Cute As A Button
Slideshow '07
Daughter #2
Watching Mommy Cope
Watching The Tots

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today (Reprise)


Pins & Needles
Have I Told You?
Parental Subtext
The Missing Entry
The Science Fair

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~ nil bastardum carborundum ~

unfortunately i can't scotch-tape a PONY to the bottom of a hallmark.
(i'm sorry.  i tried.)