Friday, March 1, 2013

sixteen candles

it was roughly 16 years ago give or take a few minutes, that tess joined the world in her own style.
my third and beloved kid was born in a hospital with midwives and doctors in the room. my husband was nursing a cup of jello. he always has had stupendous timing. still, he is delicate and needs to be fed no matter what. even if it is a momentous and deeply painful experience...for me. of course, i am the more obvious of the two of us. he seems to be the one who goes home and cries about the births and then throws up. i just tried to get to the other side of them, where the pain stopped and i could get a turkey sandwich or something to eat.

so tess was made a part of our lives on this day. she was the go-to gal to explain stuff to her older siblings. she always listened to the music on the radio in the car and knew the artists playing. the other two did not... at least for another 15 yrs or so.
of them all, i always felt that she and i shared a slipstream space. i have been know to get oddly irritated with her about "nothing". the reason for this, is that before she would say something, i could say what it was on her mind and would feel like she already had spoken. therefore our combined wavelengths made me feel as if she was nagging me. it has held some weirdly uncomfortable moments. she has looked flabbergasted by my being irked. upon my explaining things to her, she has usually accepted things.
she is gifted with a finely honed sense of humor, a quick mind, good sense of self esteem , athletic skills and a generally nice personality. lucky duck.
she is also the one that will be putting me into my grave first. her experiences are more of a conventional sort and for this, i am totally unprepared to deal with them.

school up and until this year, has been relatively easy for her. she is not like her older sister who would sit in front of a computer at 10 and just hammer out a cogent and well posited paper in one go. tess is a plugger. she sticks with it all. her habit until middle school was to do all of her homework on friday afternoon for the weekend so that she could be free and clear to do what she wanted for the next couple of days.
she is social and has traveled amongst the same kids she went to pre-school with. her current best friend is from this group and has been her home fry since they were 4 years old. there are others from this class of weinerschnitzels, but tess and kenz continue to travel together navigating the crap fest that is high school.
the girl was "forced" to learn to skate on ice, when she was little. i tried my damnedest to learn as an adult, but i really am not made for gliding around on slippery water. it is one of those skills that is best learned when young... along with french. she was fine doing some figure skating, but i insisted that she try to hang with her dad and older brother, and see if she liked ice hockey. there was an opening in the program that husband and son were leading an instructional program with. she got all suited up in hockey gear, tried it once and now 9 years later, has not looked back.
the teams she was learning to play with had no goaltenders. for a tuition break, she was offered that position. she loves tending goal. it suits her to the nth degree.

college is a ways off, but she already is making tons of plans for her investigation and application processes.  we hope with her rarified skills as a goalie, she will have some options that others may not have had.

all in all, she is rounded and enjoyed as people go. still she is sixteen now. and i just can't bear it. i am now the bad guy in the decisions about what is happening. my feelings were hurt when her older sis and bro made plans to come home from college to specifically spend her birthday with her. her response was that she made plans for her friends to go to a trampoline jumping facility. it sounds really fun... but she chose to do that instead of spending the time with her family.
one of the guests, has a little sister who is not barred from the proceedings and is included in potentially going out to dinner with her older sis and friends. the only way this scenario would work is if their mom takes their family to and from the jumping place and resto.
i am sad, because, i would have liked to be part of her birthday. even if the only thing she might want from me is a ride. the other mom gets to spend time with her on this auspicious occasion. and is also permitted to entertain a presence at the resto for their dinner celebration. my husband wants nothing to do with this entire evening... and is irritated with me for uttering the phrase
"so this is how you are going to play out your birthday?"
nobody is around that remembers when i used to bake biscotti all the time, drag around in my filthmobile to every event, in spite of not wanting to do 4 per day or walk the dog. 
they all have a convenient memory about what has been a big deal or not a big deal. 
i think a girl's 16th birthday merits some attention. i may be the only one. like i said, she is the most conventional kid here. she wants very little to do with her parents in public, if possible. i should have seen it coming, but not having done so, i am a little blind-sided by this. 

i will put on my big girl panties and if permitted, take her to the jumping spa, and to dinner with her friends. i will offer any who need them, rides home.  i will wait out my time in the bookstore across the street with the older sister, as we await the older brother's return for spring break. all will be fun, saturday, when the royal one has stated that we can celebrate with her then. 
and i shall tuck my tail between my legs ... whimper to myself and try to like the wound quietly, that my muddled feelings are experiencing. let me be minty fresh and filled with crushed ice as well as a hefty bourbony insert, as i try my best to be a good happy birthday mom. 

and as always, she only cares about two things on her cake. 
one that it is chocolate, so i am going to try to make this delightful red velvet  layer cake with cream cheese frosting. 
and with the utmost of luck, it will look something like this:
the second obligatory part of this cake is that i has words written on the cake to the birthday gal herself. 
traditionally, they say:

so happy birthday to you queen widget. 
enjoy the hell out of it. 
if you are very good, i will send you a birthday card as my father sends to me...
signed in quotes...

some dysfunctional traditions need to be started or continued. 
you know how it is?