Friday, January 10, 2014

If Wishes Came True

"Hey!  Move your ass to the left a little."

"Do you have a wish today?" I asked The Cousin this while, she, Sweet Pea, Sweet Pea's mom and I were having cocoa and lattes at our favorite coffee shop in Pacific Grove, CA.

"I wish for fish" she replied with a newly acquired kind of smile that stretched with wit from corner to corner.
"Wish and fish rhyme!"  Sweet Pea sits across from the smarty pants, rhymer twirling and flinging the whip cream with her straw. Sipping's not in Sweet Pea's vocabulary.
"Do you have a wish?" I ask Sweet Pea.
"Yes! I wish for Halloween!"  
"Right on! Well, you loved Halloween, didn't you?"  "I like Snow White and Cinderelli.
Yes. And Christmas Eve." She continues.
"Oh! Christmas Eve? You wish for Christmas Eve?"
"Yes. I wish for presents."

All-righty then.  Basically, we have the makings of a literary poet and a capitalist.

You know, wishes are happening every second, everywhere by every human on this diverse and amazing planet.  Wishes for peace, prosperity, joy, good health, mended relationships.
Remember when you were a kid and you'd run outside to your front yard and wish upon the first night star?  "Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight...Wish I may, wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight."  
My childhood wishes fluctuated between meeting the perfect boy to wishing my parents would stop smoking.  And fighting.
Once I remember wishing I was Meg Murry from the book, A Wrinkle in Time.  Sure she had flaws, so did I. I was fat, pimple-faced and my clothes reeked of Kents cigarettes. I had warts on my right hand and was the weirdo who loved Wednesdays because Mrs. Miller brought in the plastic flutes. Meg (Murry) was a misfit too, but she evolved and gained so much understanding of life and of herself. She was also excellent at math and science, subjects to this day, I suck at.

But I always made wishes and I still do. For me, the term "wish" holds less baggage than the term "prayer". Wishes are non-denominational, belong to people of all religious and non-religious paths.  Wishes are fiction and sweet and don't raise debate.

This kid's a big-time wisher, and not just for fish!
"When I get to school, I'll show the teacher the ropes."

Her wishes extend like a world map to include sweet sentiments for her new baby sister, health wishes for her dad who has a "hurt back" and the biggest wish, which was also mine as a child; that her mommy not return to work.
Her mom's on a 6-month maternity leave and that feels just right for The Cousin.  And it should. Studies show that a parent that stays home with a child, especially in the first 5 years of their life, contributes to that child's academic excellence, positive emotional development and general well-being.  The Cousin and her mom are bonded like an extra-strength Elmer's glue stick.             
Her mama is one hellava woman. 
Often I wonder if that calm, language appropriate, positive self esteem building tone just goes to shit when no one's around!  This woman, who now has a 2.5 year old AND a 3 monther, is so calm that I feel the urge to check her pulse from time to time. Seriously.
A "stay-at-home" parent, especially one that is conscious about what a child needs during every developmental moment, is awesome in my book. 
However, unlike in Sweden where each set of parents gets 480 days of parental leave per child, which must be claimed before the child turns eight, the U.S. spends a majority of its tax dollars elsewhere.
( Graciously, I will not go ballistic or Code Pink on y'all!)

"I don't need school. I'm swimmin!"

And then there's Sweet Pea.  One of her parentals is home with her , and it's a blessing because this kid would run any child care provider into the earth and bury him/her deep!  She's a "no-holds-barred" kinda girl. Always has been since the day, around 3 months, that she fought me while I attempted to put a diaper on her. I had to pin her down, using elbow and forearm, as if wrestling.  Like The Cousin's mom, Sweet Pea's mom deserves an award. (or 50) She's patient, loving, steady and calm in the face of "all hell breaks lose" and she has a terrific sense of humor.  
Sweet Pea's wishes float away into the magical realm where fantasy and magic exist 24/7. When she hears the tune "Frosty the Snowman" she becomes Frosty. When you mention "Cinderelli" suddenly she's sewing the dress in the company of all the mice. And her mom is right there with her, pretend needle and thread in hand. 
I know I have quite a few parents that read my blog. Thank you very much!! I have just one question for you, and it blares through my veins every single time I'm around children for more than a few of hours: "HOW THE FUCK DO YOU DO IT?"
Today, I noticed a playful article of quotes, from Huff Post, by Tina and Amy and have placed the link here for your smirking enjoyment. The Gospel of Parenting According to Tina & Amy...
Here's a quote in case you're a skimmer: “When you’re a twerking mother, balance is really important because you don't want to go too low and blow out your butt and bust your knee." 
-- Amy Poehler

If wishes truly did come true, I'd wish that all adolescents and twenty-somethings be required to live with screaming, bossy, needy, colicky children for a minimum of 6 months and also, live with a teenager for an additional 6 months prior to deciding whether to use birth control or not.
But alas! Calm down all you parents jumping out of your skin and wanting to rip my eyes out right now, as you defensively coo and ahhh over your contribution to over-populating the planet...
I never harmed the girls! Never laid a hand on them, and as you know, somehow miracles do exist 
because they managed to ooze their way into my parentless heart like a tube of honey or gooey berry jam.

"What'd you think of Doonesbury today, cuz?"

"Baa Bee?"
"Do you like funnies?"
"I love the funnies."
"Baa Bee?"
"You funny."
"Do you have another wish to share with me?"
"Yes! Ice Cream!"
"Well, let's go!"


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