Sissy ordered caramel french toast for her annual birthday breakfast in bed. Piper had to eat cold cereal on the floor of Sissy’s bedroom. Piper opted out of the french toast when she saw me making “stuff you dip in eggs that’s gross.” She did dig two chocolates from her own Easter basket to add to Sissy’s vitamins. She’s got a generous heart, that one.
Piper was pleased just to step into the sacred preteen space. We, too, were allowed into Sissy’s bedroom to deliver the breakfast and wish her a happy birthday. It was quite a treat.
“What’s the best gift you ever received?” I asked Sissy, stopping myself short of cutting the french toast. Back off, Mom. Got it.
Sissy thought for a minute. “Probably my bike,” she said.
“I think Piper’s the best gift we ever gave you,” Dad said. Sissy and Piper exchanged incredulous glances. Me? Her?
“Boy I hope you don’t still have the receipt for me,” Piper said. “I do not want to be returned. I’m ‘as is,’ Sissy.”
Yesterday was Grandma’s birthday so Piper and Sissy called her to share the tradition. Sissy said her favorite thing was that Grandma was so crafty. Grandma taught Sissy to sew and needlepoint and other domestic arts that I have zero skill in. Then Piper grabbed the phone:
My favorite thing about you is that you are my mom’s mom. Being a mom is hard. I know. You’re a good mom and you were nice to my mom. That’s my favorite thing, Grandma.
And here’s my favorite picture of Grandma and Piper:
I’m sad is one of Piper’s favorite new phrases. It’s both a declaration of emotion and a conversation starter. It’s also startling for a Piper to be bouncing about in a rainbow tutu, smiling her bright smile, and declare her sadness. You have to brace yourself.
The morning after my birthday, Piper declared her latest sadness.
“I’m sad because of your birthday.”
“My birthday? We had a nice time on my birthday.”
“It made me sad. You’re getting old.”
“Well, I’m not that old. I feel pretty good. We all get older. It’s part of life.”
“Yes, but I’m sad because you’re old and you’ll die.”
“True. Someday. But not anytime soon. I don’t think we have to worry about it for awhile.”
“Okay. I’ll save my sadness until then.”
And on that cheery note, Piper skipped out of the room.
I’m back. I was missed. It’s always nice to come home even if you’ve only been away a few days. Piper and Sissy greeted me with a birthday party. More details to follow (Sissy’s blogging again soon!)
For now I wanted to share with you our family’s birthday tradition. On your birthday everyone gives you a dollar and tells you their favorite thing about you. Here’s a blog video demonstration of Piper on her birthday: Happy Fake Birthday to You.
I don’t know why we give the dollar, but the sincere compliments make you feel like a million bucks. Here’s Piper doling out mine:
See? I’m fashionable! Who needs a dollar when you’ve got gold?