YEAR THREE: YEAR OF THE PRINCESS.
I looked down at my daughter Gale in affectionate. She was murmuring to herself while drawing a picture of a princess in a castle. She then jabbed the red crayon all over the princess. I gasped. “Gale baby, what are you doing.” She turned to face me, a mischievous grin forming on her face. She blinked up at me with large blue eyes.
“Momma the dragon killed the princess! He tore her guts out!”
“Honey…that’s not appropriate!” She laughed, and clambered into my arms.
“Applesauce?” She asked, brushing her fiery hair out of her eyes.
I smiled, and kissed her cheek.
“Sure, is Halle coming over today?”
She nodded all excited. “Guess what!? Guess what!? Halle is bringing Tuesday over AND we get to bathe him!”
She hopped out of my arms and scrambled up the table. She plopped down in the middle of the recently polished table, and gobbled up her applesauce. I groaned but smiled to myself. Gale had just turned three, and I had just turned 20. We shared the same birthday. I washed my hands in the sink, and peered through the dirty window. I glanced at Gale who was waiting patiently at the door, the princess drawing left on the floor. She gasped with excitement when the doorbell rang. She turned to look at me, and I raised my eyebrows, then nodded. She jumped from the couch, and flew over to the door. Halle was standing there in a small pink tutu and a white shirt. Her hair was tied tightly behind her head, a pink ribbon tied around it. She held a cerulean leash with a miniature white dog with a matching tutu. I stifled a snicker. Halle always looked like a princess from a Disney Princess movie. I beamed proudly, as I saw Gale professionally taking out the hose, and spraying that poor dog. I jotted down in my notebook.
Year 3. Year of the princess.
YEAR FOUR: YEAR OF THE TOOTH:
My daughter lost her bottom tooth, and she freaked. I recall it like it happened minutes ago. She was painting a picture of Tuesday for Halle’s birthday when she said her mouth ached.
“What do you mean sweets?” She opened her mouth and pointed to a bottom tooth.
“Err that’s a tooth Gale…”
She whimpered in misery. I hugged her to my chest until a marvelous idea bloomed in my head.
“Baby come here! I have a trick that will make the pain go away!” I felt a little bad, but it would make her stop complaining, hopefully…
I grabbed a string of twine and led her to the bathroom door. She frowned, as I tenderly opened her mouth.
“Is dish gunna hwelp my toowth?” She asked.
I laughed, but didn’t answer. After I finished tying it to the doorknob I gently opened the door. “We are going to do a magic trick!” She grinned, as if excited. I slammed the door shut, and her blood-curling scream echoed across the room. She sobbed, stuffing her fist in her mouth to stop the blood. I grabbed her a tissue, and to my satisfaction saw no tooth, but a bloody gap. After she got cleaned up, Gale tapped me.
“Mommy can you do the magic trick on this tooth?”
She asked pointing to all her teeth I groaned.
“Oh, Gale Saunders, what would I do without you?”
Year four. Year of the tooth.
YEAR FIVE: YEAR OF THE SQUIRREL:
My Gale was playing with Tuesday outside, while Halle was grabbing a net to catch butterflies. I loved watching her while my husband, Lance was at work. I was humming to the radio when I heard a howl of triumph. I groaned, and turned around. When I saw what was in the net, I shrieked. It was a bloody squirrel! It was jerking around, making frightful cries of fear. I raced outside shrieking,
“Girls release it at once!” Halle just stared at me with a smirk on her face.
“No, we're gonna keep it, and call it Squirrely!”
I just gawked at her in disgust. Meanwhile I saw Gale start to raise the net open. At this given opportunity the squirrel shot out, and zoomed up Gale. She screeched and brandished her arms around widely. When the squirrel finally unlatched its tiny claws, Gale was whimpering, cradling her arm. I gasped and rushed up to her, clutching her tightly. After this incident Gale hated squirrels, never going outside when they were around.
YEAR 12: YEAR OF THE BOYFRIEND:
This is my least favorite year. When my daughter almost forgot me. She is turning 13 soon and is growing up so fast, I can’t imagine losing her… Gale arrived home one day beaming from ear to ear.
“Mom, you’re never going to believe it, but Jackson asked me out, and he kissed me! We are going to the movies on Saturday.”
My heart cracked in two. I knew the day would come, but she is so young, and she is still mine. I was still happy that SHE was happy. Gale raced to her room, probably to text Halle.
The next day I meet this Jackson boy. He had light brown hair, and a lopsided smile, which he gave to me after I scowled at. They left hand in hand, into this Jackson’s car. She didn’t even wave to me. I collapsed, and started to weep. I know I can’t hold onto her forever, but I wish I could. She came home that evening, grinning so brightly I was blinded. She never smiled that big with me. I remember those days when we would sit together and read, draw, and play dress up.
Year 12. Year of the boyfriend.
YEAR 18: YEAR OF COLLEGE:
She is leaving. Leaving me and Lance. Lance barely noticed as she packed her bags with her boyfriend Ward. He is very gentle, and I have grown fond of him, and his weird jokes. I can see why Gale loves him. I told her I prefer if she went to college without one, but she didn’t listen. I felt tears pouring out of my eyes, as I sniffed and tried to dry my eyes. I was extremely proud of my baby. Lance was on his computer. Grumbling, while frantically typing. I glared at him, and he glared back.
“Are you at least going to check on your daughter?” I said using my hand to help lead the way upstairs.
“No. Busy.” Was all he said.
I sighed and watched as my daughter descended the stairs with her luggage. She grinned nervously at me, and I smiled back. After Lance finally got up to load Ward’s car, Gale ran up to me, and hugged me.
“I love you so much Mommy.” She whispered.
How long have I waited to be called Mommy? I hugged her tightly back, now sobbing.
“I’m so proud of you baby, show them what you got.”
She finally released herself and strolled to the car. I raised an eyebrow expectantly at Lance. He gave Gale a quick hug and said nothing. As the drove away, I saw tears falling down Gale’s eyes, as she waved.
Year 18. Year of college.
YEAR 23: YEAR OF DEATH:
This was an especially troublesome, tragic year for everyone. Gale did have her 23rd birthday, but not after lots of death. I divorced Lance, and he later died of a heart attack. Then, little Tuesday the dog perished of old age. Little Halle got into a car accident and instantly died due to head injury. It broke everyone’s heart when Ward died. He got shot, in a shootout at the Giant. My poor, baby Gale. My mother isn’t going to last long either, for she is in the hospital sick and old. My heart died when Gale moved to California for a brand-new life, which is thousands of miles away. I was now 40, and alone at this old small house. I still kept that princess drawing in a picture frame on my wall, from when Gale was only three. Gale visited once a month when she didn’t move. She was coming in a week, and I was excited. The only company I had was my old white cat, Salt. He was a grump anyways. I had taken on journaling, and I kept a daily record of everything that happened.
Year 23. Year of death.
YEAR 50: YEAR OF GALE:
I am old, and I am happy. Gale lives with me because I am sick and dying. I told her she can go live with her husband and her only child, Tracy, but she firmly disagreed. She felt how I felt all those years back. She felt like Tracy didn’t love her.
I was resting in bed when Gale walked to my side. She was 50 years old, and still that beautiful young girl. She smiled, and handed me a glass of ice water. Her crystal azure eyes never dull. Tracy looked just like her. Flowing red hair, and crystal blue eyes.
“You still kept that drawing.” She said smiling, while intently staring at the drawing.
“When at least my princess didn’t get eaten by a dragon,” I croaked. She smiled, and took my hand.
“Mommy,” She started, while I closed my eyes smiling. “I’m so very sorry for leaving you all those years back. I would take it back if I could.” She started to cry.
"Oh shh, baby it’s fine. I’m fine.” She continued to cry.
“No, you’re not! Look at you!” I smiled and sat up slowly to hug her.
“Gale I’m fine. I love you to the moon and back.”
Year 50. Year of Gale.