Every year she asks me, “So I’m 10,13,17,18,19 now, does that make you feel old?”
And every year I answer “Nope, I’m exactly as old as I’m supposed to be to have a 10,13,17,18,19 year old.”
This year feels a little different. I don’t feel old, but I do feel nostalgic.
One of my favourite memories is when Cairo was 3 years old. I had painted a mural of a landscape in her first bedroom and she was very upset that we’d made her move away from there. She was angry with me, and decided she was going to run away. She got out her suitcase, one I had from my own childhood that she now used as a barbie case, and packed it with her most important toys. It was after dark already so I watched her as she left the house, and followed her, wondering where she was going to end up and when she’d decide to give up.
We lived in a brand new neighbourhood and the main street, two doors down from us, still had a sales centre and 3 show homes. The sales centre garage had been made into a kids play area that few kids could resist. Quite understandably, she figured this was the best new home for her. She walked up to the door and knocked, but there was no answer. She knocked again. Nothing. She didn’t understand that the nice sales people didn’t actually live there. It was after hours, they’d all gone home, and there was nobody there to answer. She knocked a few more times, before her small shoulders slumped in defeat and she turned around and trudged back home.
“You decided to come back to live with us?”
“Yes.” she mumbled, sliding past me into the house.
“Want to play some Sims with me?” I cajoled, and her whole face lit up.
“Yes! Yes! Yes!” she cried out, dumping her suitcase at the door and scrambling up the stairs to my office.
Sims, the answer to all life’s problems. She’s still playing that game and she’s never run away again.