Tiger is 20 today. She doesn't read my blog but I wish her a G-d grant her many here because I hope y'all send her happy vibes!
OK, turning 40 almost 4 months ago made me feel kind of old. Having my eldest child turn 20 is an age marker and I feel old, although a couple of weeks ago when we went shopping for paint, a sales lady at XXXXXX thought that she and I were sisters and that Starshine (who gloms on to her when she is home) was Tiger’s baby! If Tiger turning 20 makes me feel old, I will be a bit blue in 17 years when Starshine turns 20. Something tells me that no one will think that we are sisters then . . . I will miss her when she leaves for Wyoming to fight fires. I wish that I had the money to buy her a return ticket home or me a ticket to fly down to see her at the moment she needs me, but I have faith that she won’t need it. Of course she will not need me. Right? (Tea bursts into tears!) The kids all love her so much. She is a ray of sunshine and sweetness. A bit oblong in this world of circles, but she comes by it naturally. She says she is not worried because she knows I will pray for her 24/7-- I told her that this is a bad insurance policy!
She was born the day before the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. My ex bought a pearl necklace for me and I was really embarrassed because we were borrowing money from my parents to pay doctor bills. Everyone said that he doted on me, but he did that because he wanted to look "big"-- he was that way. My then-husband was bragging about what he spent, slapped me across the face for asking him to return it so we could pay for doctor bills and get the necklace in 10-20 years when we could afford it, and he'd scream at me for not wanting his pushy mother around us for our "Candle Light Dinner." She was ten years older than I am now, but she was as mature as a 2 year old. I still don't like her, but I don't need to worry about that because both of my daughters are now over 18 and she is OK to them-- manipulative as hell, but they know how to handle her because I raised them.
I would try to quietly divorce her father a few months later. My parents wanted me to stay with him, "reasoning" that if I wasn't calling the police that I must have deserved to be slapped and simultaneously asking why I kept the bloody necklace when begging for money that they didn't expect to ever get back. I had always thought that my dad would have killed anyone who hurt me, but he tried to guilt me in to staying with him. That was a long time ago.
I remember birthing Tiger like it happened yesterday. I was in a c-section and I wasn't "out"-- I could still hear and feel, but as much as it hurt, I was thankful to G-d that I could be present. The doctor was not related to me, but I told her that my baby was claustrophobic and that she'd be big. The doctor said that she never had big babies and she was a bit bigger than I was so mine would be small and that she couldn't be claustrophobic. She weighed 9.8 and would not be swaddled when they tried to! I was right! I knew!
I do not know how many more times I will see her. She came home yesterday, very much excited and hoping to pass the test (running 3 miles with 45 pounds on her back 25 minutes in a few weeks) and can’t wait to go to Wyoming. We get 20% off at her store on a special night and she is bringing us to there to shop for our bathroom remodel. . . this may be one of our last projects with her before she starts having children of her own and hopefully comes home. I so much worry about my children being as disjoined as my sisters and I. She says they won’t be, that my kids are as much her kids in some ways because she helped out so much and would quit college to care for them if G-d forbid anything happened to Darin and me. (And I have whined about a lack of career!)