When Kiana was 3 years old, I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up and she answered a princess. I let her know there was no such thing as princesses anymore and got thoroughly reprimanded by several people. Tonight Kiana and I went to our first ball, the Wonders and Worries one. She got her face painted and wore a new princess like dress for it and picked out my matching tux outfit and in preparation to make her high maintenance, it was the most time that had been spent on her hair before going, mostly by my cousin.
I’d been told there are “first” moments that make you emotional like the first day of school, first word (dada), first steps and they all have without exception. I took six weeks off to stay home with her while her mother went back to work, something that I encourage every father to do. But I didn’t have a first ball on my agenda and it was great to dance, eat, laugh and play with her. There were moments throughout the night where the same type of emotions showed up. It was a special night (and the lines were also shorter) and they had our favorite ice cream out, Amy’s Mexican Vanilla so unlike usual, we took the attitude that Life is Short so we ate dessert first.
My Livestrong bracelet never comes off (and I still have the original) and hers use to be constantly on but a 5 year old regularly tears them. Still, tonight she wore it as she does on occasion as an anklet. While it is now a separate organization and have expanded their mission (http://www.wondersandworries.org/), it made my day to learn that this organization was the very first community assistance grant funded by Livestrong. Over the last year with less than a handful of exceptions, I’ve only gotten babysitters to be able to exercise (which frankly keeps me sane in the midst of all this and also gives me the energy to keep up with a 5 year old). Part of it was to give both Kiana and I some sense of stability in the midst of all the upheaval; part of it was because no one says on their death bed, I wish I’d spent less time with my kids. I have raised some money for Livestrong and while I’ve heard some of the criticism of their founder and their organization, learning today for the first time that was their first partnership, it makes me absolutely believe that they have their priorities straight. I think tonight ensured I have drank the Livestrong yellow Koolaid permanently.
As I was getting ready I was listening to a song I’ve referred to on here (go listen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrWMBC6yoME&ob=av2e) and it was my favorite of the evening and most emotional moment when this was played and we got to dance to this at the ball (though she would say afterwards that her favorite part was when we played in the balloon castle together).
I went to her school’s work day yesterday, still never having missed any of those. I keep my century bike training up first thing in the morning and then Kiana and I are going to the pool. And we’re still watering the trees that she picked out on the Lorax. It helps that she's cute and energetic so adolescence scares me but I hope to get to watch it. There was a moment during the ball where we wrote letters that we mailed to them. It was much longer than that and even someone who is as public as I am will keep some of those things with just her I wrote her about what she asked once upon and told her I was wrong two years ago. When I took her to Sonoma, we bought a wine at her first winery that I hope to give to her on her 21st birthday (because of course she won't possibly have drank before then). But it will be accompanied by this letter and in it, I admit there are still princesses and maybe this is no fairy tale and I rule no country. Still Kiana’s definitely the princess of all my best emotions and with this girl, there’s never going to be a moat to protect anything.