For the past three weeks, I stood by and watched while family and friends held Pearl, cuddled her, hugged her, tickled her, and loved her in all the ways I couldn’t. This was easily the most difficult part of my cancer experience which means, actually, I’m pretty damn lucky.
Since being reunited with my daughter, we’ve had an extended moment of incredibly sweet, excessive devotion to each other. Every night in that small space between fighting the inevitable and dreams of nutella sandwiches (that’s what they dream about too right?) Pearl likes to make sure I’m still around. She jerks wide awake, takes one long concentrated look at my face, gives me an enormous dimple-cheeked smile, and passes out on my shoulder.
In turn, I give in to her tiny demands regularly. I know there’s an entire industry devoted to avoiding this grave parental misstep but screw it. In her entire life these days, the ones where she’ll grab my hand and pull me around the house to squeal with delight at the existence of windows, will seem like a flash.
I feel good, really good, and it’s unlikely that I’ll need any more treatment. It turns out doctors don’t like to throw around words like “cured” with cancer patients no matter the clever verbal traps you set for them. So I’ll wait impatiently but in the meantime I have a long list of blessings to count.
And because it’s rude to advertise your parental brilliance on Instagram and then not deliver…
How to Dress a Tornado in 17 Easy Steps:
- Stop buying anything even remotely white, just stop it
- Sign my petition to end the total nightmare that is baby clothes with buttons, together we can stop the madness
- Remember this counts as a workout, good for you!
- Offer to let the tornado choose her own clothes
- Spend the next 30 minutes putting all the clothes back in the drawers
- Allow an additional five minutes to apologize to the tornado for not letting her eat the rhinestones off her tank top
- Time for a distraction, sing a totally made up song about monkey butts
- Chase the tornado as she runs across the living room with her eyes closed and only half her pants on
- Wonder if this will be the day you have to explain to the ER nurse how your tornado gave herself a concussion
- Oops, the tornado just crapped her pants, start over
- It becomes clear at this point that tornados prefer to be naked
- Distract the naked tornado, almost anything will do but I highly recommend a cell phone insurance plan
- Take a 5 minute break, let the tornado loose on the tupperware drawer, you deserve coffee
- Offer to let the tornado try to dress herself
- Remember this always results in a screaming match when you eventually try to help
- Bribery exists for a reason people, have you heard of these things called yogurt melts? What a world!
- Realize that a diaper is perfectly acceptable attire for a tornado on any occasion