Sweet Bea turned 4 this week. I wanted to make her favorite meal for supper, but thinking about it I realized that I don’t even know what her favorite meal might be. She doesn’t ever want anything except dessert. She hardly ever eats at mealtimes. The only meal she ever requests is macaroni and cheese. So that’s what we made for her. But she was so preoccupied by the prospect of cake that she only ate a few bites of it.
Bea is the epitome of middle child. I think she was even before she actually became the middle child. She is amazing in so many ways and I love her to bits, but she can also be contrary and defiant and often we focus on trying to correct these things rather than praising the good in her. Every morning I wake up and think, today I am going to be patient with her, today I will only show her love, today I will shower her with a little extra attention. And I always fail. I’m not sure why I thought it would be any different on her birthday. I wanted to make this day really special and all about her. Of course, then in her characteristic Bea way she made carrying out that plan very difficult. She kept walking around declaring, “It’s my birthday, I can do whatever I want!” and proceeding to quite literally do whatever she wanted — to the frustration of her parents. This was compounded by a needy baby who apparently didn’t know that he was supposed to let his sister have some of mom and dad’s attention on her special day.
But she did enjoy her presents — particularly the make-up kit she got from her grandma and a My Little Pony comic book. And Jake made his signature mint chocolate cake. We had a little party with the neighbors, and I know she enjoyed playing pin the tail on the pony with her friends. (It was such a hot and humid evening, when I got out my camera to take a picture of her blowing out candles the lens fogged up and I only got one hazy picture.) I think (I hope) in her mind it was a really great day, and that she didn’t sense my own sense of failure. She’s one amazingly awesome girl, and I’m proud to be her mama.