HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TERESA JANE
Ross dropped wearily onto the couch. “We’re done.”
“Done enough.” There were still a few boxes here and there, but I could handle them. I was a stay-at-home mom until Teresa had a few years of school, a decision we’d made when she was born.
“I was afraid I’d not get a decent night’s sleep before starting my new job.” He wiggled his body and closed his eyes and breathed contentment. “Now I know I will and I need it. Moving is hard work and I look forward to a summer of catching up and doing absolutely nothing.”
“Don’t get too comfortable.”
He opened one eye. “Why not?”
“Teresa’s birthday is coming fast.” The birthday that meant she could start school. She was excited.
“So she wants a party.”
“Naturally. Five years is a milestone birthday.”
I sighed and repeated my previous statement one word at a time. Slowly. “She. Wants. A. Party.”
“Of course she does and I don’t see the problem.” He lay his head back and opened the other eye and stared at the ceiling.
“We just moved and don’t know anyone.”
“So?” He still didn’t get it.
“So parties normally involve guests and whom will we invite to Teresa’s party if we don’t know anyone?” I didn’t have to add that our little girl was turning into a social butterfly because she’d made that abundantly clear during the few years she’d been on earth. She loved people. Loved parties. Loved parties with wall to wall people.
“Oh dear.” He sat up, groaning at what the effort had cost his body. “A problem we’ll have to solve somehow.” He brightened. “We’ll convince her that a party with only family in attendance is the best kind of celebration.”
“Won’t work. I already tried.”
“Oh.” He slumped back to his former resting position and sighed. “Then you’re right. It’s a problem.” After a moment of thought, he almost smiled. “Which is why I’m glad I must concentrate on my new job in order to do a bang-up job of being the sole support of my family while you deal with the problem of Teresa’s birthday.”
“Won’t work, big guy. We’re in this together.”
He rubbed the back of his neck. “Okay. I had to try. But you’re right.” Silence lay long and heavy in the room. “We’ll figure it out. Somehow. We have to because we love Teresa and she loves parties.” That was the end of the discussion, not because we didn’t care but because neither of us could come up with a single solution to the problem of Teresa’s birthday.
The rest of this story and eleven more can be found in THE WOMEN OF FLY-OVER COUNTRY, available now on Amazon: