She came down the stairs Saturday morning in her pajamas and bed head, and I gave her a big birthday hug. “Where is everyone, Mommy?” she asked.
“Oh, Maddie, sweetheart, they’re not coming until later,” I replied.
And then I saw the rash.
Earlier in the week, I had noticed some red spots on little Katie’s feet, butt, and legs. They didn’t seem to be bothering her, and after a few days, the spots faded away. But now, the same spots were on Maddie’s feet and legs and butt.
And we were hours away from a princess birthday party, complete with pink cupcakes and all of Maddie’s cousins. Gasp! The other kids! What if Maddie was contagious??
We’re going to have to cancel the party! How can I tell Maddie that the party is cancelled? How can I look at her sweet face and tell her that her cousins aren’t coming? I can’t break her heart on her birthday!
So, I did what any grown, almost-40 year old woman would do… I called my mommy. “Don’t decide anything, yet, Dana,” my mom tried to console me. “Take her to the doctor.”
Four hours later, after a not-so-quick emergency trip to the pediatrician, Maddie was declared officially not contagious. “I wonder who the first guest will be,” Maddie said on the car ride home. “Mommy, a guest is a person who comes to a party.” Oh, sweet Maddie.
We had a wonderful, pink, glittery, fun-filled birthday party for my 4 year old Maddie. And I learned, yet again, that when my kids hurt, I hurt. That I want to shield them from even the slightest heartbreak, the tiniest sliver of pain. That they deserve the world, and sometimes the world comes in the form of pink cupcakes and Rapunzel balloons.
Happy, happy birthday, Maddie. I had so much fun at your party.