We had a birthday party for me on Saturday night. I got a lot of really thoughtful gifts but the one that I keep returning to is a card that Chinky spent an entire afternoon creating for me. She drew it and cut it out and wrote in it in her best cursive.
Like I told her, I have made lots of cards but the last time somebody made me a card was when I was in school, which was half a lifetime ago.
She ran around the house playing with Rahul and Ratul-who-is-no-longer-quite-a-baby and she got up to mischief and teased the boys. She also ran to get napkins to wipe up spills and cut the rest of the cake without being asked and offered to help me organise the dinner.
I remember when Vicky and I went to the hospital because they'd had a baby. A little bundle with wee, scrunched up eyes. A little girl in soft pink who came to greet me as a new bride at my reception and who promptly stole my husband's attention from me. A two year-old who twirled her fork into her noodles like a pro. A three-year old who recited "Johnny Johnny" with the most adorable straight face. When she was six I once spent an evening playing guessing games with her. Earlier this year I gave her my precious Barbie Fan Club magazines and memorabilia. If anybody could cherish them the way I have for the last two decades, she does.
Seeing her makes me unutterably sad. And then she looks up and I'm just glad I have her in my life, at least. I like to think if I'd had my daughter she would have been a little like her Chinky-didi.