Monday, January 30, 2006

I have underwear older than her. . .

Allie's birthday party was a lot of fun. It will probably be her last family-only affair. I'm guessing that next year there will be lots of screaming children running around screaming while they smear cake icing all over our furniture as they scream. This year was a much quieter; more sedate gathering of Aunties and Grandparents. Until we started to play dice, that is. Then things became very loud. However writing about the gambling that occurred during our child's birthday party seems imprudent.

The impact of Allie turning six didn't fully hit me until this morning (her actual birthday). I came downstairs and snatched Allie off the couch. I repeatedly threw her up in the air while shouting, "She's six! She's Six!"

Now, here comes the part where you're thinking I'm going to start writing about how I won't be able to toss her in the air much longer. You're expecting me to tell you how sad I am at the realization that my little girl is growing up. Well, you're wrong.

I'm thrilled.

Deb and I have kept Allie alive for six years. Considering all the forces that conspire against parents today, not the least of which is our own stupidity, we have accomplished something grand. Allie is smart; healthy; ostensibly happy; semi-well adjusted and up to this point we haven't noticed her being unnecessarily cruel to any creature other than her sister.

I realize I'm tempting fate. I'm just tired of hearing myself whine about how quickly Allie will be leaving her mother and I to go grow pot in her closet at the ramshackle apartment she shares with her boyfriend, the heavily pierced tattoo artist who convinced her that grad school is merely a training camp for the bourgeoisie to learn to subjugate the proletariat.

That said; you know I can't stop myself from sampling the bittersweet. I'm feeling it and maybe Allie is too. There was no way she didn't notice that after throwing her in the air this morning I held on to her just a little longer than usual. Rather than squirm, Allie let me have a few extra seconds to create an adequate impression of what it feels like to have my six year-old girl in my arms. I didn't squeeze too hard -- just enough to make it clear to both of us that it was going to be difficult to let go.

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