Saturday, April 18, 2009


"I'm getting it!" I told Mom when she leaned forward from the backseat to motion wildly toward the open parking spot downtown. "Good gracious, you people are driving me nuts," I muttered and turned to see my parents sending matching grins in my direction. I laughed at them as I opened the door, walking up to the second Hallmark store we'd visited in the last 15 minutes.

"Excuse me," I sheepishly interrupted the women at the counter of the first shop. I glanced around at the figurines, scented candles and aisles of greeting cards before facing them again. "Do you stock any of the Webkinz Juniors?" They replied that they didn't, though both were interested in buying one upon their arrival.

The taller of the two, dressed in a pink turtleneck and quilted pastel cardigan, began calling other shops in the area, triumphantly announcing she'd found a location that had the plush toys. "I want one for Little One," Mom told me earnestly. So, with a nod of acceptance, we set off to find a tiny shop stuffed full of toys. After pulling neatly into a parking spot, we headed straight for the desired display, selecting a Pink Puppy that would allow my eldest niece access to the site with games aimed at ages 3-6. I petted her head softly, wondering what name would be bestowed upon her.

"Beary, Tigey, Dolfie, Goldie," Mom recited of the last four Webkinz Little One obtained. "Guess what animals they are," she invited and we giggled. I can't judge though - I purchased the goldfish after admiring its pretty fins at the airport on some trip or another and said I thought Goldie was a fine name.

"What'd you get?" Dad asked, reaching for the bag after we returned to the car. He'd taken a single look at the tiny storefront and colorful array of its offerings before deciding he'd wait in the Jeep.

"She needed a bird too," Mom told him when he pulled out a small cardinal in addition to the larger dog. "They have treetop rooms." I blinked at him in surprise when he nodded with understanding rather than scoffed in response.

"She wants to see the treetop rooms," he told me and I patted his arm fondly while giving my own nod of understanding. He approved the toy we selected for Smallest One and tucked everything back in the bag before handing it to Mom.

About an hour later, I glanced over Mom's shoulder when she called to ask a computer question. She was in my office, perusing handheld video games and offered that Little One had asked for one. A girl in daycare brings hers and Little One's cousin taunts her with his. I narrowed my eyes at the latter and helped click the proper buttons to bundle a package - selecting a pink system, pink accessories package and My Little Pony game.

"Your dad is going to kill me," Mom fretted, glancing across my staircase to where Dad sat in my living room, watching cars drive very fast for short distances. He used to do that - I remember standing with my hand in Mom's at the drag races, watching Dad drive the car we'd load up and tow home. They promised me a Care Bear if he won, and I still recall standing between them as we approached the display at Sears. The bears, colorful as the display we'd seen earlier at Hallmark, had their boxes arranged in a tower and I quickly pointed to the one I wanted. (I'd given the matter careful thought on the way to the store.) I go in sometimes and look at the bears as they smile from shelves on one of my guest rooms - it's oddly comforting.

"I'll get it," I decided easily of the game and waved off her protests. "I can afford it," I insisted, "and I want her to have it." I tapped the keys as I entered my information, having the items shipped here so Mom and Dad could take it with them when they went home.

I puzzled a bit more over what to do for Smallest One. I've not seen her for a couple of months but I hear she's much wilder than her older sister. She's bright and funny, demanding and energetic and a bit rough. Evaluating the durability of the Leapster systems, I decided on one I thought she wouldn't immediately break, told myself she'd at least enjoy pushing the buttons and told amazon to send that too.

Pleased with myself, I rested my head on Mom's shoulder while we all watched motorcycles go very fast for very short distances. "I wish I had pie," I sighed. "Coconut cream."

After they set off to find me some, promising to return soon, I grinned and wrote a blog post. I'm inheriting all sorts of crap - going through family history at medical appointments is ridiculous. Heart disease on both sides, cancer on Dad's. Migraines and various respiratory problems on Mom's. Depression is officially maternal, though I think it comes from both branches. I don't see well - that's from Dad. He also shares my struggles to fall asleep easily. My appearance is all Mom - eyes, hair, facial features.

But I also love intensely and give generously to those I consider mine. Given recent medical concerns, it's wonderful to remember I've inherited a number of traits I'd never trade. And now, as I watch cars drive in circles and await their return even as I prepare for my own departure tomorrow morning, I'm happy.

It's almost as good as getting a Care Bear.


Anonymous said...

i love how you love your little ones! i am thinking about you...hope everything is well....

Amanda@Lady Scientist said...

I'm glad that you're happier. And I'm happy that your nieces will be receiving care packages shortly. My brother needs to get cracking so I can have some nieces (or nephews) to spoil :-)

Anonymous said...

You seem to be better. I am glad. I was too busy last week to check much Internets, and wish I could have offered some virtual hugs when they were most needed.

Anonymous said...

Hey Katie, i stumbled on your blog quite by accident 2 days ago through a google search, and since i just keep coming back and reading more and more of your life and stories. Youve inspired me to start writing my own blog, though at 17 i doubt it will be half as good reading material, though i shall try my best. Just thought you may appreciate hearing this, as i know i would myself, that as you said, these personal thoughts you have shared will be read by another who can connect to them =)
Thank you for the idea

post-doc said...

IBtL, this is the loveliest comment I've received in a long time. Thank you - I appreciate it very much. And I'm looking forward to reading what you write.

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