Friday, September 9, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart

Remember when we spent the afternoon taking pictures of the flower pot in my courtyard?  You started out directing the shoot but quickly assumed control over both the creative and technical sides of the equation.  My role was to keep my shadow out of your light..... and to explain, once again, just how to press the button half-way down to focus and then shift the camera for visual interest.  You held your finger down and tried to look at me at the same time that you were re-framing the shot and it was all I could do not to laugh.

"Like this?"

Yes, sweetheart, just like that.  Just exactly and perfectly like that.  

Remember when you and your brother and I were at the Chinese buffet restaurant and I said that you could eat whatever you wanted and promised not to rat you out to your parents?  We discussed, seriously and thoughtfully, the question of taste versus obesity versus self-control... right before you decided that "every once in a while can't be bad"  and got up to refill your plate.  

I didn't tell you that your mom and I had had the same conversation ourselves as you were getting organized to get into the car.  We agreed with you, you see.  Every once in a while isn't bad at all, especially on a special day with Ms. Suzi.  Then, I made her the same promise I made you.  I promised not to tell.

I was the filling in a love sandwich and it felt just fine.  Just fine, indeed.

Remember when I tied the apron around your neck and gave you the glass water pitcher and asked you to deal with the ice and the tumblers on the Thanksgiving Day table?  G'ma helped you problem solve the logistics, but you did all the heavy lifting yourself.  You made sure we all noticed that it was done and done well, but only after you had finished the task.  And then you asked what else you could do.  After all, you said, "I'm already wearing the outfit."

Sweetheart, I want you to do the same this year, too.  

You should be on your way to New York City with the 49 other Children of Hope to join in the festivities they have planned to celebrate your natal day.  Sure, most of the people there will be feeling sad about the absence in the skyline and what it represents, but you'd have been certain that they were also celebrating the wonderfulness that was you....

You.... the future.... engaged and interested and willing to put in the effort to achieve a result.  You.... with your big smile and kind heart.  You.....

I'll watch that same cohort of kids grow older as the anniversaries roll by, decade by decade.  I'll wonder about your face and your shoe size and your hairstyle but will be certain of your spirit.  You were a cheerleader for the passions in your life - your family, your country, your teams.  The world was your oyster and you knew it.  You were going to be something, you just weren't sure what. 

"Look at what one 9 year old girl can do."  I've heard your dad say it again and again and I believe every word of it.  Look.... pay attention, because my girl did.  What.... a foundation, a statue, inspiring 8 girls to play hardball.  One 9 year old.... 

Who should be strolling down Madison Avenue with your mother right about now, shopping for accessories.
Who should be writing me a thank you note for the present we chose together, because the experience was part of my reward.  

Who should be the tallest kid in your grade and proud of it. 

Who should be here, right now.

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart.  I'm having a cupcake with a candle and I'm going to sing the birthday song and I'm not going to cry. I'm going to remember laughing over the camera and the greasy cuisine and remember the other thing your dad says... Don't be sad.  She would not want us to be sad.

I can almost see you here in front of me, hands on your hips, head tilted and eyes blazing.  No, ma'am.  I promise.  I will not cry.

Were you looking for this week's shopping tip?  Worry not, denizens.  I have not forgotten my obligation.

The Christina-Taylor Green Foundation is selling handmade ceramic butterflies, modeled after a drawing CTG did last winter.  These are a nice addition to the rubber bracelets and patches and pins which have been available for a while.  You can have a copy of the picture for $1.

Take a look.... there are more on Facebook at Peace Butterflies and Christina's Butterflies.  The money goes to the good deeds the Foundation is doing.  The quality of the craftsmanship is exquisite... and you can feel the love.  


  1. Awww...I can't even put into words how BeauTiFuL that tribute was. What a GiFT you were to each other. Every child deserves a "FaiRy GoDMoTHeR" type of "BFF" in their little life. Thanks for this tender post. Thinking of you both this weekend & always. <3

  2. I can't promise not to cry, but I can promise to remember how you sat right next to me, helped me scoop some more mashed potatoes in to the serving dish (you can't have too many mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving!)and assimilated in to the grown up part of thanksgiving like it was what you were born to do.

    And your dress was fabulous.

  3. A deeply moving post. I will be buying butterflies for gifts. Thank you.

  4. Gosh, honey. Oh, gosh. I love you.

  5. I have to cry.... I'm sitting here sobbing. My heart aches so much for you and CT's family.

    I looked at the butterflies last week when I read the article you posted about Roxanna (

    So utterly beautiful. I knew then this was going to be my Christmas present to all of my friends and family. The butterflies are so whimsical and light-hearted. When I see them, I smile.

    I'm sorry for crying too. I feel like I don't have that right, but it pains me to think of you all not being able to hold CT in your arms and tell her how much you love her.

    Happy Birthday Christina-Taylor. May you soar with the angels.

    Sending a big virtual hug to you AB.

    Megan xxx

  6. Oh my gosh...

    That was lovely. And heartbreaking. I do love the butterflies, thanks for the link to them. I definitely need one!

  7. With apologies to C-T's father, I am sad. I will think of you and of her on her birthday and will send a big hug. Don't forget that she was very lucky to have Ms. Suzi in her life. xo

  8. Well, maybe you won't cry, but I already did, just reading this. Happy Birthday to an amazing girl.

  9. There is another one quite like Christina Taylor Green: Scott Calvin Dieter. He was born in the former Soviet Union and he was the adoptive son of Craig Brian Eric and Beth Ann (Laufer) Dieter. It would be possible to put the American Flag (Scott Dieter's citizenship) and the Ukrainian or Russian Flag (Scott Dieter's birthplace). The gunman of Dieter was shot dead by Ben (never "Benjamin") A. Campbell.

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Talk back to me! Word Verification is gone!