Monday, April 19, 2010

The Eagle has landed

I need some new wigs. My dear friends either are jealous of my new breasts and want me to look my age so they are telling me that my new gray pixie is "artsy" or they simply don't want to hurt my feelings. But all I know is that it's my birthday today (though I wrote this last night) and for some reason there are a lot of people who have April 20 as a birthday - weird. David Lee Miller for one. Phil Reeves. Sarah Williams' husband, Peter Mali. And then it is also Andrea and Scott Wilson's wedding anniversary. I remember one particular birthday celebration outside in the garden of the American Colony hotel in Jerusalem in which both were there - the intifada was raging but the smell of the orange blossoms were fragrant as the water trickled out of the center fountain tiled with the same Armenian tiles as used to surround the Dome of the Rock. Annalise was in a car seat under the table and when it was time to nurse I sneaked off to the elegant Colony's bathroom and some kind person - likely a woman - had set up a nursing slash changing station for the babies. I nursed away (not that that helped prevent this rebellious, break all the rules cancer. My birthday is one that has an infamous association - it is the same as Hitler's and usually some whacky group does something horrible (Columbine, Timothy McVeigh) to coincide. My best friend, Lila Rifaat's birthday is 8 days later (the same as Saddam Hussein's). Go figure.

So let's say I go wig shopping. The problem is now that it is summer, wigs are pretty annoying. (Thank goodness I went through this in winter.) I still wear a cozy cap whenever there is even the slightest draft, but it's not a good look. Annalise listened to the beginning of the video that Fox did about our 'journey' (still haven't found a really good non-cliche way to describe some of these cancer 'issues') - Annalise immediately said, "Mom, you sound like one of those sad cancer commercials." She was right the editting was beautiful - but the music was meant to tug on your heart strings - a cliche that even a 9 year-old recognized. (But at least they got Amelia's famous cartwheel in the piece - the Today Show nixed it - so I explained to Stefanie, the Fox producer, how important it was to her and it was in. Her first question when I said they used her gymnastics video was "Did I land my flip?" "Well, sort of - but it was a perfect cartwheel, i added. Phew.

When going to bed last night after the girls described every moment at Disney World, Barry honestly said "if we'd just had two more days..." Glutton for punishment that he is. (I am actually not sure who enjoyed the trip to the Magic Kingdom more - Barry or the girls.) They brought back so many tchotchkes - even Luke got a straw in the shape of Mickey Mouse ears. Annalise wanted me to put her to bed tonight. She sleeps on a floor futon in the attic. I said, "Sweetie, I don't know if I can lower myself down and then get myself up again since I can't use my arms. Having seen the article on our family's fight in the Reliable Source section of the Washington Post, she said in disbelief and a bit of mockery, "You can't lie down on a futon and rub my back until I am asleep...Now that's a story." So of course I took the Pepsi challenge. I lay down and hoisted myself up again. That's when she informed me that she and her father have nicknames for each other - she is Big A and he is Little G and I , it turns out have a code name too: Bald Eagle. (Not sure when the two of them began working for the Secret Service.) The insults never stop but at least we still keep laughing. They are so brave that Amelia even held my drain while I showered and didn't wince at my scars - which I thought was mighty polite. She dried off my back with a towel and then helped me into my pajamas and into bed.