Today is - or would be, since he no longer walks among us (or does he?) - the King's birthday. That's right. The Man from Memphis. The swivel hipped, curled-lipped all shook up black soul voice in a very white boy's body.
But today is also, to me far more importantly and personally, my Bailey's birthday. Now, I am aware that she is not my biological daughter, much as we may joke around - and yes we do look scarily alike; but she has wonderful parents who love her very, very much and do everything for her, and I don't want to belittle that in any way.
However, she is as close as to me as any daughter may be, and I am proud and grateful to be her Mama Kato. Therefore my B, on the occasion of your 17th big day, a few words from mother to daughter. Feel free to laugh. Or even snort.
Advice To My Daughter On Her 17th Birthday
1. Be grateful that this is your 17th birthday, and celebrate accordingly. Think of your Mama, who in exactly a month's time will be hiding her head under the covers and breathing into a brown paper bag as she turns 41.
2. Be grateful that you have so many people in your life who love you. This has been a very rough year my B - but we got through it. And 17 is going to rock, because you learned so much from 16. Windowlickers unite!
3. Your education in the finer things in life - shoes - will only deepen. This is a promise.
4. Dystonia sucks like a sucky thing. But try to be grateful for the people it has brought to you, and the support you receive - and pass on that support to those who aren't as fortunate as you.
5. Don't waste a minute of 17. Even though you are going to have really craptacular days - because Dysto is not going to magically disappear as a birthday treat - live your life to the fullest my B. Carpe jugulum - seize life by the throat.
I am grateful for you. I am grateful to have a snarky, funny, feisty redhead who calls me Mama and whom I will scream 'Happy Birthday' at later on today when it is actually your birthday in Tennessee time.
Oh - and don't do an Elvis and start hoeing into the deep fried sarnies and double cheeseburgers.
Otherwise you won't fit into your white sparkly birthday jumpsuit!
Hmmmm... maybe I should have told you that was your present.