I just went and picked up glasses for my 9 year old daughter…$250.00 f-ing dollars on glasses for a 9 year old child. I remember wanting glasses when I was her age, now that I have to wear them the want is less. So, yes she was excited, something new…yes, she was very appreciative. I’m thankful that she understands and recognizes, and appreciates, that she could pick out whatever she wanted. And yes, she asked me if I wanted to go to the electronics store and look at big screens to take away some of the sting of the $250… “Since we’re already out” she offered as a consoling gesture. I guess it warms my heart a little to see that happiness…But DAMN!!!…$250.00!!! …and I know that braces are just around the corner. What is the point in even looking at big screens?
BUT, this is my world…my station in life. My little girl is spoiled, maybe not rotten, but spoiled…and that’s okay. I thank heaven for this spoiled little girl every day.
My daughter is going to be 10 years old in a few weeks… that is, if she agrees to it. She usually has her own set of plans, her own rules. Those rules and plans are generally different from society’s accepted standards of practice. She wears what she wants to wear; she eats what she wants to eat. She cares very little about anyone’s opinion on her choices. She has very little need for anyone’s approval. Report cards and teacher conferences confirm that she is a pretty smart chick, and never a behavior problem. She has that quirkiness that an artist has…that skewed view of the world that will forever make her special, and can sometimes make her an outcast. She is the light of my life, and has been since the day I first saw her.
Alexandra Rae was supposed to be a boy…she was supposed to be a Jack. When my wife was carrying her, we didn’t find out who was coming because we wanted a surprise. The genealogy didn’t really line things up for there to be much of a surprise. I say that she was supposed to be a boy because it seems like I have about 1,000 cousins on my father’s side of the family, and like 5 are girls. Those facts may be exaggerated, but for whatever reason; everyone just expected a boy.
But secretly, in those private, reflective, father-to-be moments, for 38 weeks I wished for a little girl. I know you’re not supposed to think like that when you’re an expectant father. You are supposed to want 10 fingers and 10 toes, and a healthy heart. Of course that was all I ever prayed for, but very quietly…very privately…I hoped for a little girl. I was always a little nervous about that. Was I tempting fate by wishing and hoping?
The nurse who greeted us in the maternity ward on the day my little girl was born was absolutely gorgeous…only about five feet tall, raven black hair, eyes as green as emeralds, and a tight little package that was built for speed These facts have nothing to do with this story, they are just worth noting.
She asked us beforehand if we knew who was coming, and we told her we were pretty sure it was “Jack”. During the very short labor (about 90 minutes) in the middle of all the drama and chaos that went on in that room, (the same as in every maternity ward, every day) our nurse chanted a few times,“Jack be nimble…Jack be quick”. Our first child was very nimble and very, VERY quick, she just didn’t turn out to be a Jack. My wife did not plan on a natural child-birth, but our daughter had a different set of plans. Alex didn’t have time for anyone to hook up an epidural, and we were on her clock now.
When our hot little nurse uttered those magic words, “Well Mom and Dad, you have a perfectly healthy baby…. girl!” My wife and I were shocked. I was happiest about the “perfectly healthy” part of her statement for sure, but I have to admit that I always felt like maybe I cheated a little bit. On April 27th 1999 I got what I prayed for, and what I hoped for. That’s a pretty good day.
On that Tuesday in April almost 10 years ago, my little girl grabbed my index finger, squeezed harder, and cried louder than any living thing of that size should be able to. She looked right at me, and in her own language she seemed to be saying, “Look, I know you’re scared, and you probably should be – you are not remotely qualified to do this job, but God and Mommy will get you through. Just understand that things are gonna change around here dude…and you’re gonna buy me shit…lots and lots of it…clothes, toys, shoes – (I will never understand the shoe thing)…and you’re gonna complain about it out loud, but deep down inside, buying me shit is gonna make you happy. Because deep down inside the thing that makes you the happiest, is making people you love happy…and right now, this very minute, you just realized that you’ll never love anybody the way you love me…pretty cool huh? Now pick me up; I won’t break. Oh by the way, I came two weeks early, In April, because I like diamonds, and the birthstone for May is an emerald. Emeralds just don’t work for me. That’s how I roll.”
At least that’s how I remember it all. She seemed very wise for somebody that was only a few minutes old.
So……..the $250.00 that I spent on glasses today does NOT make me happy. The light in the eyes behind those glasses always makes me happy. Those eyes melt my heart every day. The light in my little girl’s eyes make those glasses worth every penny. I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for 10 years now. For 10 years, I have thanked Heaven every day for this little girl.