This week’s word: Tape
She cut the wrapping paper carefully, making sure to follow the pink polka dots so that the edges were razor straight. She placed the package in the exact center and folded the edges with neat creases until they overlapped on the top. She held the paper together with one finger while she tore the Scotch Magic Tape with the other, securing the seam with the side of her thumb. She folded the corners with the precision of a cadet making up his cot. It was important that this gift look perfect. It was a gift she’d waited a long time to be able to give, and she savored the moment. She would give her daughter the gift of a silver locket passed from mother to daughter for seven generations in her family. A gift her own mother had given her when she herself had turned 16.
She ran her fingers through the box of bows at her side and found a frilly pink and white ribbon she’d been saving for an occasion like this one. She wound the ribbon around the package, crossing the two ends at the bottom of the box and winding them into an elegant bow on top. She wove silk flowers and white raffia into the bow, then fussed with it until every strand was in exactly the right place.
It wasn’t every day a girl turned sixteen, and she knew how significant an event this was to her daughter. It was the day so many girls dreamed about, the day they’d receive their first driver’s license and be able to go on their first date (or at least the first date they’d admit to their parents). She wondered if her daughter was really “sweet sixteen and never been kissed” or if kisses had been stolen in secret at 15, or even 14. She closed her eyes and conjured the image, feeling the tingles and nervousness of her own first kiss. It made her smile. She imagined the soft blonde curls; the crystal blue eyes shut tight, the cupid bow lips pressed tight together, the nervous wonder of that moment.
She wondered what else she didn’t know about her daughter. In so many ways, a stranger to her mother, and yet their shared DNA insuring their similarities. She’d had no idea, at the conception, the depth and breadth of joy and love and fear and pain and connection there would be. It was so different from what she’d imagined. So far removed from her childhood play with baby dolls.
She wiped a tear from her eyes as she stood and lifted the package from the table. She sighed as she placed it high on the shelf with all the others, missing her daughter in ways she never knew she could.
Someday, her daughter would wonder about the woman who had birthed her. She hoped, and prayed with a sincere and desperate faith, for the day her phone would ring and she would hear a voice on the other end that sounded much like her own. And it would say “Hi, Mom? This is your daughter”.
Next week’s word: Toad