Heidi turned 14 yesterday. She is a tough cookie, having been raised under and through the tumultuous energy of 3 older brothers. Heidi doesn't cry. She is as even as they come. A happy light, making her way in this world both independently and lovingly. But yesterday all bets were off. Not only did she cry lots, her mood was all over the place, and happy was not in her repertoire. Even though she had presents galore to open and a favorite restaurant for dinner, she felt bad, sad, and mad!
This was all in reaction to Willie. I knew something was wrong when she was super quiet in the afternoon. But as we all loaded in to the car to go out to dinner to celebrate her birthday, Willie in the front yet again, she just lost it and ran out of the car. For besides silently demanding the front seat, Willie had brought all the attention to himself, as usual, and complained about it not being his birthday. The rest of the evening was a musical chairs version of our family with 2 cars being taken to the restaurant, Willie storming out of the restaurant at one point, my husband rushing him out the restaurant before the surprise birthday dessert came, and then some.
At one point during her tear filled rants, Heidi said something like "for just one day, I want to come first, have today be about me, sit in the front seat, be the most important." For just one day. But Willie doesn't allow that. As she repeated "he always gets his was," my heart broke in two. For she was right, from her perspective it seems like that. And for that one day, her special birthday, she was right to want to be the priority. But there is not enough air or room in our house, in the car, in the restaurant for them to both be first. We all make pretend Willie comes first, bowing to his moods, sending platitudes we don't necessarily mean his way, allowing small concessions all day long. And my daughter let me know, in no uncertain terms yesterday, as she turned 14, that she is not OK with this.