Luna turned four on Thursday.
From the moment she woke up to the plush black stuffed horse until I refused to turn the television on for the fifth hour of Nina’s Goodnight Show on Sprout (I kind of really hate the Pajanimals song about now), the refrain of the day was not all the renditions of Happy Birthday, but little Luna being totally and completely over the sun, moon, and stars ecstatic because it was, “the Best. Birthday. EVER!”
I pulled her unwrapped gifts, the plush, black horse and her lavender velour hooded sweat suit and laid them out on our bed. Then I called Jerry using FaceTime – Apple’s answer to Skype – and we woke her up together. Dad in a box, right?
Lately she and I haven’t exactly been working well together on the whole bedtime thing and my little Energizer Bunny has been getting to sleep later and later, while the INSOMNIA has been kicking my arse something fierce and I have not been sleeping much at all. Since she had a little school bus arriving at 9:00 a.m. And I had to wake her up, I was expecting some resistance.
At the very first moment she heard our voices, it looked like she was going to resist, but then our words seeped into her consciousness and she sat up and glanced, blearily, around, her countenance lighting up as her gaze alighted upon the shiny, black plushness of the newest horse in her rapidly growing herd.
The transition from bed to ready for the bus was the swiftest and smoothest since Jerry went back out on the road almost two weeks ago. Makes me almost wish she had birthdays twice a week.
While she was in school I finally met with my very own therapist for the first time since it was agreed that’s what she was to be, way back on November 1st. I was so tired and scattered from the lack of sleep, at least that’s how it felt.
I was supposed to get her to sign of on us being able to have the cats come live with us, on the basis of therapeutic reasons for Luna, since “pets” aren’t allowed. I’m pretty sure I talked her out of doing it and it is going to create more difficulties with Jerry later on. I didn’t mean to, at least not consciously. However, I was completely honest about Luna’s obsessive behavior toward LaLa’s cat, and it raised some flags. More on that another time, perhaps. The reality is that Jerry’s emotional stability is better managed when he has his cats. But with Jerry on the road & not under a doctor’s care, this is our only option to get approval.
Anyway, after the meeting I rushed around trying to gather things for the party we thought we weren’t going to be able to have. Since finances were so tight from Jerry’s period of unemployment in October and zero income that whole month and the fact I’m single parenting it during an extended depression cycle and fibro flare, I had canceled her party last week. Two days after that decision, I spoke to the Reverend at the Episcopal Church across the street after last Sunday’s service and she had me talk to the Hospitality leader. Luna is getting a cake and an hour to have a party immediately following tomorrow’s service. There may not be too many from our world who will make it at 10:30 on a Sunday morning, with such short notice, but she will get her cake and get loved on by our newest church family. So, Yay!
I made it home in time to meet her off the bus. She was so happy it was her birthday still and just continued to inform me it was the best birthday, ever.
The rest of the evening was low-key and not how I’d planned. The non perishables are still in bags on the floor and the Funfetti cake mix and frosting remain unused. I have a little over five and a half hours to get this place reasonably “cleaned” before Marco shows up to give his littlest sister some belated birthday love.
One neighbor and her children knocked on our door and gave Luna a gift bag of little things that just cemented Luna’s excitement and conviction that it was her best birthday ever. A big box of crayons, a coloring book, a wannabe Barbie doll (her very first!), a birthday card and a small Happy Birthday Princess balloon on a stick – probably all from the dollar discount store – were received with pleasure, gratitude, and the utmost excitement. I think Luna’s love language may follow her Daddy’s and be the joy of giving gifts to others and how receiving gifts, regardless of cost, feels like being treasured and honored. If you’ve never heard of The 5 Love Languages please check it out. It may help you understand your loved ones and even yourself better.
So, with each person wishing her a Happy Birthday and with each and every gift, Luna experienced the best birthday ever and I kind of did too. Despite all the foreshadowing that something was majorly wrong with Jerry and the bombshell that exploded all over me that night, it was still the best birthday I can remember.
The mommy guilt that had wanted to assert itself never got a chance to fully blossom because of how utterly happy and excited Luna was the whole day. The anxiety and dread that tried to rear up and drive my bus were kept at bay because I stayed focused on it being Luna’s best birthday ever. The sheer exhaustion from the insomnia and the subsequent fibro pain were mitigated because I was more connected and attached to Luna and her joy than I was to my own personal misery.
Even though what could easily be deemed a harsh betrayal of seismic proportions was confessed to me by Jerry, what I got to share with Luna and how I experienced it, meant it was, indeed, THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER. El Guapo agrees.