Sunshine turns three tomorrow. While I thought I was going to make her cake myself after bedtime, she declared this morning that she was going to "push the chair over and stir and stand and mix my cake!"
To Sunshine, who really does seem to see all things pretty Sunshiny, this cake is perfect. To me, it is the second cake (because the first one split beyond repair). It has CANNED ICING on the bottom border (because I ran out of my icing and don't have enough to make more). It's a little lopsided and crumby.
But it's pink. It's a birthday cake. It's chocolate inside. To her, it will be perfect.
When she opens presents tomorrow, Sunshine will get a baby doll cradle that a friend made years ago and happened to still have in his house, having not made it for anyone in particular and having not given it away yet. To Sunshine, this baby bed will be perfect. I imagine she'll stuff more than one baby in it and the cradle will be the envy of a certain four-year-old. To me, it is absolutely beautiful and handmade, but all I can think is "will it be taken care of when she moves?" It has a baby blanket in it that may have come wrapped around Chickadee the night they arrived. If not Chickadee, then Little Sister over three years ago. To me, it will not show her how special she is. To her, it will be perfect.
This is where I am. It is so easy to find the things that I am not doing well, the things that I am doing so right but that will not exist in their next lives, the things that I could do or say better, the routines and rituals that we have down to a science but that the next stop will not value enough to continue, the things they are not even having opportunity to do yet because their past trauma makes it oh-so difficult to handle much newness.
Sunshine, in all her Sunshiny-ness, is the perfect reminder: That I am doing, that I am trying, that they are healing and resilient. She is a reminder that she deserves hope that the next stop will make a lopsided birthday cake next year and give her a little present even if it was free. She is the perfect reminder that we are, all four of us, doing and growing as best we can.