I turn 31 tomorrow. Or today, depending on when you're reading this. Or yester--okay, my birthday is now-ish. September 26th. Let's go with that.
This past year was full of good, big things. A new house. A new position/promotion I worked hard to get. Kids seamlessly adjusting to the move, and losing their minds with joy over their own rooms, their own swing set. Good, big things.
J had been asking what I wanted for my birthday, and honestly, I couldn't think of anything. ANYthing. It wasn't some Secret Lady Ploy, either. I genuinely couldn't think of anything I wanted. Which is weird, but whatever. I figured we'd just go out for a really nice dinner, and I would be -- really -- perfectly content. I have everything I need.
* * * * *
The Etch A Sketch Animator 2000 was the toy I always wanted as a kid,
and never got. It was love at first sight for me, and I could think of
nothing else. I imagined all the amazing things it could do, and
daydreamed of having one of my own. It had come out right around the
time I started losing my baby teeth, and I would pen these lengthy notes to the
Tooth Fairy each time I lost a tooth, casually (and KINDLY, I thought at the time) inquiring as to how she
was doing, before launching into what can best be described as plaintive,
heartfelt, uh, begging for the Etch A Sketch Animator. I would carefully
tuck the note into the tooth-shaped pillow my mom had sewed me, along
with the tooth, and I'd burrow under my covers, wriggling like a puppy.
I'd try to stay up, but at the same time, force myself to sleep, knowing
full well that the Tooth Fairy wouldn't show up until I was really and
truly asleep. I'd hope that this was the time, and the Animator would be
In the morning, there would be a little gift, like a Barbie, or some
money, and a note, always a note, shaped like a tooth. Every time, the note told me how things were going for the Tooth Fairy, and then apologized,
telling me there simply weren't any Etch A Sketch Animators in Tooth
Fairy land that time, but maybe one day, if I kept being a good girl, and brushing my teeth well, I would get one. The note left out, of
course, that the true Tooth Fairies couldn't really swing the expense of a
$50+ toy for me at the time. I just kept brushing well, and never stopped
* * * * *
A while back,
J and I were talking about our favorite childhood toys, and I
mentioned this story. The conversation went on, turned to other topics, and I didn't give it a
For my birthday, I came home to a box, which contained this.
He found it for me.
I sat with it for a while tonight, playing (it still works perfectly, and it's everything I thought it would be, even 24 years later), and tearing up. Not for the toy, but for the effort, for the memory, for what my husband thought to do for me.
Like I said, I have everything I need.