At 7, I was awakened again, this time by a loud whisper about an inch from my face. "MOM. IS IT TIME TO PUT ON MY DRESS FOR THE PARTY YET?" I opened one eye and said, "No, and you better have some sort of caffeine with you, little missy." By now they were both awake and asking for breakfast.
At 10:45, I had Lucy bathed, dressed, and ready for her friend Isabella's birthday party at Lucile's Tea Room. She's been talking about it for weeks, her first real birthday party. I was nervous because I knew there would be 18 other girls there, none of whom she knew. I wanted her to have fun and feel secure and be nice. All those mom things. She looked so sweet and was so excited. We got to the tea room, and it was already filled with little girls. I was so glad I had bought her a new dress and shoes. She held onto my hand tightly, but she eventually let go and said, "'Bye, Mommy." When I left she had this little anxious look on her face that looked as though she wanted to be happy, but was also frightened and not sure how.
Elaine and I left and both started to cry on the way home. I think she was just mad though. She went down for a nap, and I started to clean up the house. Then I called my mom and told her everything from how annoyed I was that Darren left my crockpot full of chili sitting in the front seat of the car overnight and how my house was a mess and how I hardly had any sleep and how I just left my 4-year-old with a roomful of strangers and that I hoped I had sent her with the right kind of present and did I mention how tired I was and Darren was gone? Sometimes you've just got to have your mama to talk to, that's all.
I picked up Lucy at 1, and of course she had a fantastic time. She had her nails painted orange and her mouth covered in purple lip gloss. She was full of tales of the party, how they had had pigs-in-a-blanket, cucumber sandwiches, tea, and pink candle birthday cake (something might have gotten a little garbled there).
By the time evening rolled around, I had a clean house, two tired girls in bed, and Darren came home and we shared a pizza together. He had called a little earlier to say he was on his way and said, "I was thinking of Lucy most of today and hoping she had a good time at the party." The thought of him out there in his camo gear with his bow and arrow, thinking about his daughter and anxious that she was fine at a party made me completely forgive the crockpot-filled-with-chili-left-on-my-front-seat-overnight incident.
And...here she is. Doesn't she look just fine?