Monday Dare: Happy Birthday. I’m sorry I stole money from you. (& Cal’s Birthday Giveaway)

Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. Click on the link to see the complete list of Monday Dares or learn more about its origin.

This week: Celebrate. A LOT.

Cal: Mommy, do you think we’re both going to become adults at the same time?

Me: Uh, what do you mean by that?

Cal: Like, by the time I’m mature, do you think you’re going to be mature too?

I wish I had better answers for all of Cal’s difficult questions. Do you think everyone can be happy? Can you explain quadratic equations? Why did you take money from my piggy bank without telling me so you could buy that lip-plumping gloss?

There is still so much I don’t know.

When a hospital nurse offered to take our first mother and daughter picture, she saw the apprehension in my face and assured me, “Don’t worry, you won’t break her.”

I asked to sit down first. I spread my arms apart and widened my fingers, trying to create a larger surface area. Then, I motioned with my head for the nurse to place her in my web.

Cal and I spent a minute eyeing each other. Her long eyelashes swooped up and down as she blinked, and then she went back to staring.

I leaned down and whispered in her ear, “It’s possible that I will never love anyone more than you. It’s okay if you break my heart, because I will still love you.”

I knew, I just knew, that I would never turn my back on her, that I would always believe her. I would never make her beg for acceptance or forgiveness.

I gritted my teeth as the nurse snapped our first picture:

(I am 19. Cal is just a few hours old.)
Happy birthday, kid. I always got your back.

I F***ING LOVE PRESENTS giveaway #4 (Pretty sure Cal has heard the “F” word already, but I’m keeping it G rated this week anyway.)

I f***king love presents. Maybe you do too. To celebrate this holiday season, I’ll be doing a giveaway each week until the end of the year. Get connected on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page and on Instagram (username: flourishinprogress) for not-posted-on-this-blog pictures, (t)hug life thoughts, and other random shi…stuff.

This week: The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxed Set (Hardcover) aka Cal’s Favorite Books of 2012

Every year, when I ask Cal what she wants for her birthday, her answer is always the same. Books. Lots and lots of book. She carries a book with her wherever she goes. She reads her favorites over and over again. Cal asked if we could give away The Hunger Games Trilogy as part of her birthday week celebration. That kid is so nice. My parenting skills must be OFF THE CHAIN.

TO ENTER: Leave a comment below with the title of your favorite book(s) from childhood. Just as I did for last year’s birthday post to Cal, I’m going to let her read the comments. If you’d like to leave Cal a little note, I bet it would thrill her. Only comments left on THIS POST qualify.

LAST WEEK’S WINNER: Knotted Tresses. Please email me at flourishinprogress at gmail dot com with your name (unless that is your real name, in which case, my bad) and your address.
first image courtesy of Bonnie Tsang

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