Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Day Trippers

A few weeks back, Em had asked me if we could have a ‘mommy-daughter day’ some time soon. Because I’m off Wednesdays, and this was her spring-break week at school, I decided that we’d head up the coast to Santa Barbara for a day of sun fun. (Hence the ill-advised bathing suit purchase detailed below.)

We had a really wonderful time. We walked, we talked, we made sand camels, we buried each other's legs in the sand, we dipped our toes in the frigid water, we shopped for souvenirs, we ate, we laughed. As I said to her at one point, you could tell what a fun day we’d had by the fact that I was still in a good mood after losing my cell phone (which was later turned in, thank goodness) and banging up my left leg really badly after we rented a side-by-side tandem buggy/bike thingy and had a little bit of an accident on it (NICE bruises on my leg, but no more harm done than that).

My personal favorite part of the day: Sitting at lunch at an open-air restaurant on the pier and thumb-wrestling. (Yes, she beat me three times in a row, but it wasn’t fair, because the waitress kept coming by and asking me questions, and I got distracted! That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.) At one point, I was just looking at her and thinking, ‘God, when I was her age, I could never have imagined this moment in my future.’

So I said to her: “Hey, Em. Tell me about what your life is going to be like when you’re my age, when you’re 41.”

She thought. “Well, I know I’ll be married.”

“You will?” I said. “OK, then. Tell me what he’s like.”

“What do you mean?” she replied. “Are you asking what kind of guy I’m looking for?”

It’s very hard to keep a straight face when words like that come out of a 7-year-old’s mouth, but I managed.

“Yes, I guess so,” I said.

“Well,” she said, with little hesitation. “I want a husband who isn’t like all worried about his hair all the time and what he looks like, and who’s really into music and stuff. And, of course, he’ll be in a band.”

“Oh, really?”

“Yeah. And we’ll live in a nice house with a big backyard, but not too big, not so big you can get lost or you can’t take care of it.”

“OK. And will you have kids?”

“Yep, two. A girl and a boy.”

“What are their names?”

“The girl will be Elizabeth, but she’ll be called Lizzie. And the boy will be Samuel. And if it turns out that we have two girls, the other girl will be Samantha.”

“I see. And what about you? What do you do? Do you stay home with the kids?”

“You mean 24/7? Oh, no!” [I swear, all I ever talk about is wanting to stay home with them, so this is NOT coming from me. Keep your hate mail to a low roar please.] “I’m going to be a veterinarian, of course. And we’ll have six or seven pets. Dogs, cats, a few bunnies, a guinea pig, and a hamster or a mouse or rat.”

“That all sounds wonderful. So, tell me, when you’re 41 and all of this is happening, are you happy?”

“Oh, yes,” said my beautiful blue-eyed daughter, she who has her whole life ahead of her, who makes me smile just by looking at her. "Oh yes," she said, beaming. “I’m very, very happy.”

That's all I care about.

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