[For those of you new to me and my blog, Olivia is my cousin’s four-year-old daughter/ love of my life. She continually enlightens me with her philosophies.]
The countdown is on, only two weeks until Olivia’s 5th birthday, although the countdown started for her a long time ago. I believe it was February to be exact, right after Valentine’s Day, that she began designing her invitations. “They are green,” she told me excitedly. When her mother suggested focusing on making valentine’s, Olivia politely declined. In the mind of child besides Christmas, the only other important holiday is indeed their birthday. December 26th the countdown begins.
I don’t use the term “holiday” loosely either. At the 4th of July family BBQ Olivia asked everyone if they knew what the next holiday was. “Ummm Labor day?” They asked.
“No, My birthday!” she gleefully exclaimed. What a true Leo! She already thinks the world revolves around her so much that her birthday is a national holiday!
Then there came the personal invites in the form of a phone call.
“Avani, do you know that my birthday is coming?” She asked.
“Really?? When is your birthday Olivia?” I responded, pretending this was news to me.
“Wow, how old are you going to be?” I asked, quizzing her.
“Five!” (Like duh, guess I have to come harder to stump her)
“Avani are you coming for my birthday???” She asked in that small cute childish voice that makes you want to cut your ear off rather than say no. Sigh. How do you explain to your a four-year-old that due to a new job and major bridesmaid expenses and bachelorette parties that you have to throw, you simply cannot afford to go see her??? You don’t. Instead, I thought I could take the grown up route and just blame it on work. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
“I’m sorry Oli, I can’t come I have to work” I said matter-of-factly
“Work? Well what do you do at work??????” She answered in a tone that denoted neck rolling. This of course really meant “what do you do at work all day that could possibly be more important than me and my birthday?”
“Well I write. I write all day at work” I was never embarrassed to say this out loud until this moment. I knew it didn’t hold much weight. I instantly felt defeated, I was ready to go online at this point and start looking up flights. But luckily she let me off the hook easily:
“Well that’s ok if you can’t come, I can take pictures for you on the camera and then next time I see you I can show them to you, except you have to come look at the computer cause we can’t find the camera.”
The camera has been lost for the last month since they moved, but I appreciated her art of compromise nonetheless. We can all take a lesson from that!