I had fun carrying that stick yesterday. You remember the stick. The really huge tree-like one you picked up on the way to school while you were with your lovely and indulgent babysitter, who pretty much lets you rule the world and eat cupcakes for lunch. That stick, the one twice my height.
It’s a good stick, no doubt. But cumbersome to carry, what with all the bags of goody bag paraphernalia I had to buy for your birthday party tomorrow and the gallon of Pinot Grigio in my bag because, well, Mommy needs that, and you know, Edie, who needed much consoling and carrying yesterday because I brought 12 cupcakes and 12 little paint sets and 12 glasses with the funny noses and when I brought them to school to give to the kids, the class had added on two new kids and Edie didn’t get a paint set or the Groucho Marx glasses and well, she was heartbroken, utterly heartbroken, and so I had to breastfeed her heaving, crying, sobbing, little body all the way to a nearby shop, so we could buy her an overly-priced princess toy that would help her forget about my little indiscretion.
And all the while, I was carrying the big stick.
Oh, I tried to get rid of the stick. I tried to convince you to leave it behind. That didn’t work. I tried to convince you to break it into two smaller pieces. Not having any of that. I tried to get you to carry it. I was high on crack when I thought that might happen. I almost tried to just refuse to bring it but then, I saw that you were going to bring out the big guns. Oh, not the full out, no-holes-barred tantrum. No, you’re too smart for that. Subtlety is your bag. No, it was the sad, watery puppy eyes and the quivering lip. You know, I am a sucker for the watery eyes. Gets me every time. I would buy you a horse if you gave me the watery eyes. Guess I shouldn’t tell you that, huh?
So, as you know, sweetheart, I carried the big stick all over town. Walking five east to west city blocks. With my heavy bags. Then, on a city bus, where I had to carry the bags, the folded up stroller and Edie, with my boob hanging out for all the world to see, and dragging behind me, like a club foot, all the toys I bought that day. And the big stick, which you know, wasn't easy.
There were a lot of old people on the bus. They laughed at me. I hate old people. But you can’t blame them, because I tripped while getting on the bus and nearly spilled all the contents of my bags on the floor of the moving bus, which would have sucked because then, your goody bag stuff would have been flying all over the bus and there would be some tears then, for sure, but it wasn't that bad and so, while I was picking up the few things that fell on the floor, all the while making sure neither you or your sister flew to the back of the bus when we hit, like, 30,000 potholes, I almost whacked an old man in the head with your big stick.
I nearly took the guy’s eye out. He definately gave me a shitty look. Good thing I hate old people. And I looked clutzy and ungraceful, for sure. My hair was a mess and I found a piece of cupcake mashed into my scalp and one of your classmates wiped whip cream on my clean shirt. I was also probably muttering to myself, which you know, is not attractive. But I've come to terms with my clutzy, fumbling, cupcake-smeared, snaggle-haired self. This is who I've been ever since you were born.
And that was four years ago today.
The day I met the most vivacious, exuberant, exploding sunshine, spirit like a rocket ship, naked-loving kid I’ve ever met. You made our life, your dad and me. You changed everything. I have not been the same since the first time I heard you laugh. It’s the best laugh. Like chimes, like elves, like magic. Your naked cartwheels are the best of anyone I know. Really, the best. All flailing legs and vagina. Those are the best kind. And your shows, the ones you put on for me daily in your little made-up theatre, are like little revelations. God, I love those shows and all the things that fly out of your head, like wild cougars springing out of their crouch into the air. I am amazed by every little bit of you. You make me smile. And not just today or once in awhile, but lots of times every day. God, how lucky am I to have that in my life.
Lucy, you are special. In the history of the world, there has never been anyone quite like you. You are unique. Your own person in the world.
And I’ll carry your big stick any day.
Love you a bushel and a peck,