Gal Smiley turns seven years old on Wednesday.
She’s always asking me for a story. Just like her father. “Tell me a story,” she will say, many times a day. “A story about when you were a baby. Or when I was a baby. Or about our family.”
I usually say, “I am not good at telling stories.” It’s not really the telling that stops me cold, it’s the coming up with ideas. We have our family legends but I’ve told them, over and over, day in, day out. She wants something new.
I can never remember anything, especially when put on the spot. I’m like a sad little storyteller caught in the headlights. What did we do yesterday? Last month? Last year? It’s all a blank when I’m trying to focus on what’s for lunch tomorrow.
So to celebrate the seventh anniversary of her birth – a birth, I might add, that was easy and powerful and will forever be one of the best moments of my life – I offer her a story.
Today Captain Jelly Belly was home sick. After we picked up Little Miss Sunshine from morning kindergarten, we were three introverts in the house.
One was happy to slide cars down the hallway, carefully noting the score for each Hot Wheels in his notebook.
One was immersed in the world of Strawberry Shortcake, soft murmuring from one doll to the other.
One was tap tap tapping on her computer, while lunch simmered on the stove.
It was very, very quiet.
There is another one, though. One who always sidles up to me, asking me what I’m doing. The one who wants to help, or play a game, or get out the paints right this minute. Don’t ask her to wait. She’ll just do it herself.
The one who spurs the others into a rowdy game of hide and seek. The one who gathers everyone for a dance party. The one who slyly turns up the volume on the TV when she thinks I’m not looking.
The one who pulls us all together. The one who makes us a family.
Some days I want a little quiet. Today, it was too quiet.
I missed you, Gal Smiley.
Brie hosts Monday Moments over at Capital Mom every week. This week’s theme was Celebrate.