A wish for my daughter's birthday

February 24, 2011 

It was daughter Tiffany's 39th birthday — a celebration like no other.

As the birthday cake warmed the room, we gathered to witness the moment when her wish would be granted. Thirty nine pink candles stood in waiting, surrounded by what looked like her court.

Her 6-year old son, Luke, trailed by his younger brother, Joshua, arrived with her high school prom queen tiara on a pillow. Together, the boys placed it on her head as the final touch for the birthday-themed party they’d helped plan.

Already, Tiffany had been adorned like a "Queen for a Day" with my rabbit fur wrap from yesteryear, one she’d gloried in when playing "grown-up."

Now, here she was a beautiful woman with a new decade looming straight ahead.

It seemed as though I’d hardly turned around.

There had been the first birthday cake with sticky fingers and frosting in her hair, followed by a string of years. Toddler friends and weary mothers changed to pizza out with teen friends. A lot of wishes over time — many I like to believe came true. Tiffany never would tell what she wished for.

On this occasion, while we sang Happy Birthday to You, I couldn’t help but wonder what she would wish for as she basked in the glow of the moment. Her Grandma's dessert dishes reflected the candlelight. The tiara sparkled. Anticipation filled the air.

Tiffany paused. Then, she began to take a huge breath.

Suddenly, without warning, the dazzling light from the mass of candles disappeared as her 6-year old son's excitement blew across the birthday cake. Only one or two flickering candles remained.

In the midst of laughter, I didn’t have the heart to tell young Luke that before his mom turned around, he’d have his own cake shimmering with 39 candles.

Tiffany smiled, and then blew.

I couldn’t help but wonder if Tiffany had wished for time to slow down.

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