Why are you staring at me like I'm the birthday girl?
she asked.
I said.
You ARE the birthday girl. Literally. It is your birthday.
I know.
she said.
But you're staring at me. Can we go to Powell's now since it's my birthday?
Could we possibly wait,
I asked,
until I've gotten dressed, and possibly until it actually opens?
she said with resignation.

Who did you guys FaceTime without my permission?
I said, storming into the bathroom to find our son on the toilet with iPad in his lap, chatting away while his techno-Svengali sister stood by with a satisfied smile.
he shrieked.
Please leave! We're having a conversation with Uncle Jonny, and it's like the best conversation ever!
His sister confirmed this assertion.
He tilted the screen my way, and yes, my brother's face filled the screen as he also confirmed this. I shook my head, crossed my fingers, and exited the best conversation ever, since I wasn't invited.

Okay dudes.
I said.
Let's grab some lunch.
But Daddy!
she pleaded.
Can we please go to the library first? It's the most important thing in the world to me.
I sighed, and headed to Don Pedro's for burritos.
Our son, who has shown total disgust and disinterest in ever watching any kind of sports, sat in our booth with eyes glued to the station broadcasting the World Cup match between Argentina and The Netherlands. In Spanish.
I'm going for the Orange team.
he announced in his little megaphone voice.
Orange is The Netherlands.
I said.
Yeah. I'm going for them.
He proceeded to provide a lively play-by-play that provided little* in the way of relevant information about the action, but did provide a certain clarity regarding his philosophies on a number of things, including optimal uniform colours, injuries that could potentially dismember an athlete, sports that involve kicking versus throwing, the quality of his bean and rice burrito, and the issue whether or not any of the players were evil. Nowhere in his discourse, however, was there any acknowledgment or discussion of the fact that the television commentary was in Spanish; a language he has not yet learned fluently.
Unless...his sister has been teaching him behind our backs...

she said.
I would rather have books than food.
I said.
she said.
I wish we lived in a library.
How much would it cost to buy Powell's?
she asked. 
I wish we could live there. More than a hundred dollars?
I said.
More than a hundred.
More than a thousand?
I said.
More than a thousand.
More than a million?
I said.
More than a million. Maybe...50 million?**
she said.
Can you work harder so you can make fifty million dollars and then we can buy Powell's and live there?
Problem is,
I said.
I don't think it's for sale.
We made it to Powell's, where she whittled down her stack to...one, which she purchased herself and left with $1.01 in change, which is a small but not insignificant step toward $50 million.
Then we made it to the library, where I used my VIP pass to get us in for free, and we somehow exited with enough books to probably, should we sell them on eBay***, provide a big chunk of the 50 million $s.
But like I said, I don't know that Powell's is actually for sale. Cross your fingers for us.
-Argentina, sadly, won.
-after she whittled down her book choices to ONE, her uncle (Jonny) picked up several of her precious alternates for her; a gift that was received with enthusiasm for three seconds and then headlong focus as she dived into them. 
**off the top of my head - I have no idea. Anyone?
***which we would, of course, not do ever


Lee Long.
Happy birthdaY MDL "Claire". You're one of the funniest, most witty , smartest, sweetest people I know. I love you!

Sue Long.
Night night sweet daughter of yours and granddaughter of mine! I hope it was the perfect birthday, x's 7! I smiled every time I thought of her and am SO lucky to be her Gramma Susie. I look forward to hearing all about your Powell's Adventure, and the rest of the day. Hugs again, mixed with love! xoxo

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