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Parental Wishing

Welcome to this month's Wednesdays with Wendy post!

Parental Wishing
by Wendy Bradford

Two weekends ago, we celebrated my twins' fourth birthdays. They had never had a birthday party before this. Their older sister, of course, has had one every year. Because she was first. Family came from all over the country for Molly's first birthday party. It was at an Irish pub. We had friends, food, drinks, balloons... We had found out we were expecting again that morning! But we didn't say anything to anyone because we didn't want to take away from her first birthday party.

For the twins' first birthday, we... I have no idea what we did.

But we had a fourth birthday party for them. At a local playground, with a few of their local friends (meaning the siblings of Molly's friends). And we had the best face painter ever; I barely recognized my own kids.

Eventually we placed candles in the custom-made cupcakes--cars and princesses--I mean Cars and Princesses--(copyright by Disney) and instructed Henry and Ellie to make a wish.

And I know they don't understand wishes. They understand wants. And I assure you, they get those very well. We arranged their party through an organization called Share Your Wish because we wanted to redirect gifts for our kids to those who really needed them, and we wanted our kids to understand why we were doing that. (And I don't have room for one. More. Toy. Not one. Not even a goody bag.)

But as I tried to do the impossible--light a match outside in New York City in April--I thought about making my own wish for them. Thoughts for health, happiness, abundance of laughter and friends came to me then as they always do when I think of what I want most for my children.
In that moment, I wished most that Ellie's hair would not catch on fire.

Later, after the very intense sugar highs had burned off, I thought of all the birthday wishes I'd rushed to make over cupcakes these past five years.

It is unnecessary, if not just as difficult as lighting that match, to make any one wish for our children. Our whole lives are a wish for our children. Our entire being, once we become pregnant, or see, or hold our baby or child in our arms, is a wish for that child. Every thought, when we know it or not, is connected to that heart, those hearts, beating beneath tiny cotton onesies, rash guards on the beach, baseball jerseys, school uniforms, prom dresses.

Every moment is my wish for them. This morning--as I dragged myself from room to room, coughing from allergies, smearing apple butter from the Green Market onto blueberry bread (from the Gristedes)--was my wish for them. As my oldest walked out the door headed to school with her father, I squeezed her tight. Then squeezed her again. That is my wish for her every day. Tonight I will take them to an event at the public school. It will be hectic and loud. They will run around like animals, fall over each other, and cry and laugh. They will eat too many snacks. I will have to carry someone all the way home. I am wishing it already.

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