by Iris Karas, guest author
I have had more than a few heart-to-heart talks with my fairy godmother. Under general conditions, godmothers are not permitted visibility. However, for reasons I cannot disclose, I know that Galexia is a wise ol’ broad wrapped in her iconic pink feather boa. Picture her like Mae, or at least, Bette Midler’s Mae: too much blush, and an absolutely infectious cackle of a laugh. For me, she’ll use the wand—but it isn’t really necessary, she’ll have me understand. I forgot to mention, she is sassy as hell.
I invited her for a particularly serious chat when my daughter was three days old. I had prepared my checklist of wishes for her, which included limited time in the fugly stage and having at least one real friend—to which, you-know-who responded with a bored “Oh, please. This is the big time. Don’t give me a list of things you know perfectly well will work their way out without me. C’mon, I’m busy! You think you’re my only customer?”
“Jeez, Galexia,” I pleaded. “Give me a break! I only meant that I don’t want her to turn out like….”
“Enough,” she snapped, “don’t waste wishes! How many times do you want me to remind you?”
“Oh, all right,” my friendly fairy godmother relents. “ I can see panic has overwhelmed your normally fairly rational side. So, listen up: This little girl is already perfect and she is going to be who she is, with or without your narrow little list. So I wish you would let her grow. You go along for the ride, watch—guide, of course. Just don’t go nuts. It all works out. How many times have human families been through this?”
“Okay,” I concede. “But then, I’m still entitled to at least one wish.” I’m not above wheedling a fairy godmother.
“You bet. Make it a good one, willya?”
“In that case, I need some more time.”
“My dear, you already have that, too. Well, toots, you know how to reach me.”
Of course I do. I still have that wish saved, too. And, so far, I haven’t needed to use it. Galexia was right, of course! Looking back over the last nineteen years, I know, everything did unfold almost as precisely as it should. Galexia was especially right about the part where she was confident that my three-day-old daughter was already perfect.
Learning to ‘go along for the ride’—now, that part is a lot harder than it sounds.
My daughter and I actually are close Though not in the fantasy way I first imagined—it isn’t Hallmark glossy. But most days I do think I understand my daughter, now a college sophomore. As she passed through the benchmarks of my original checklist, I grew to understand the difference between the brief short syllable ‘Ma!’, as in urgency, and the two syllable or longer version, which translates as very important, but not urgent, and sometimes as annoyed—or annoying. I know when she says “Mother…!’, it means “Back Off”, and I know when not to heed that directive. I know when not to take it personally, and when to call Galexia.
Iris Karas, a resident in western Massachusetts, of Organizing Elizabeth, a murder mystery and love story. Find out more at http://www.iriskaras.com