Monday, March 14, 2005

Auburn Aries. No! You Can't Have Her!

Auburn Aries nailed her speech. I thought about her all day long on Friday and wanted to talk to her so badly. Her energy felt as though things were okay, but it’s hard to tell with a seven year old sometimes.

She said that all the other kids had to go into the hallway and practice…and she didn’t.

She said that she spoke loudly enough for everyone to hear all the way in the back of the classroom.

She said that she never got nervous and didn’t end up needing to picture everyone in their underwear.

She said when she asked the kids to raise their hands if they knew anyone from Costa Rica, four people raised their hands. Auburn Aries included her hand being raised in this particular inquiry because “The Handsome Prince and The Math Whiz are from Costa Rica.” I tried to explain that they are not from there, but she must not have had her listening ears on. Apparently because THP vacations there and TMW is his boyfriend, they are, by default, Costa Rican.

She said she was the only kid in the classroom who used colored poster board – well, “except for the other kids that went before [her], but they didn’t count.” (Her poster board was bright blue. And when I inquired about the kids before her and their colors, “they used white or black and those aren’t colors”).

When her classmates rated her on a scale of 1 – 6, 6 being the best…they gave her a 6.

Oh, did I say 6? Because I meant 6. A 6! Did you hear me? Auburn Aries nailed it. She stuck the landing. It was 6’s all around. Hootydamnhoo to that!!

We ran by the house on our way out of town to meet her Dad. On the white board on the fridge it read “Speech due March 11.” While I was standing in the kitchen messing around with something, AAries had changed the writing to read:

“Speech was great!”

I’m never erasing that. Not ever. I mean it!

Fast forward through a weekend where The Toaster Oven no longer has time for his best friend because there’s a boy in his life *sigh* How quickly they forget... Damn you, Present! Eh, who am I kidding, he's a slut. If not The Present, it'll be some other boy!

Anyway, I picked up Auburn Aries Sunday night at 6 p.m. and as I open the door to my ex’s truck, she’s blathering a mile a minute about riding her bike. Aries still has her training wheels on her bike at home. She’s so afraid of falling down, she avoids riding it like the plague.

“Let me get out and show you how I ride my bike." I halfway expected to see some kind of mime imitation of bike riding. I thought it’d be good for a giggle. I stood patiently as she climbed up in the back of Dad’s truck.

Unbeknownst to me, they had actually brought her bicycle.

I was asked to walk far, far away and wait. I did.

There in Safeway's parking lot was my ex-husband bent over whispering in Aries ear. He gave her a gentle push and off she went. Her face lit up the evening sky. She was doing it! She was riding her bike!

All I could do was stand there in awe looking at this little girl who is the light of my life riding her bike toward me. I stood frozen, both hands covering my mouth, excitement coursing through my belly and cried.

I have never been so proud of her as I was at that moment.

She was giggling and excited and looking directly into my eyes for every drop of approval she could find. She also knew I’d be standing there crying like a big baby. She loves my tears of joy when I'm proud of her. As do I! She rode right up to me, braked and awaited the biggest hug in the world.

She just kept riding back and forth between me and her Dad. She didn’t want to get off of her bike. It was awesome.

First the speech and now this. I stood there overwhelmed and realized that this was the best day ever.

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