Amanda has recently started getting an allowance, and she has a hard time not spending it right away. When we went to a toy store last weekend to buy a birthday gift, she just couldn't resist buying a Digipet. It's really a neat little toy. She is able to choose what pet she wants to virtually care for, and it beeps to remind her that it needs something. She is currently caring for a rabbit. As it turns out, I am caring for a rabbit. Rabbits apparently sleep a lot. On the index where she (I) can measure her (my) success in taking care of the rabbit, the sleep section has yet to fill up. I put the thing to sleep when she leaves for school, then it wakes up and I have to clean up cyber poop (yes, really), and then I put it back to sleep after playing with it, and/or feeding it. So, I'm taking care of the Digipet. And the funny thing is that I don't mind. She wants a real rabbit, and there's no way that I'm taking over that responsibility, but I feel like her partner, her helper by doing this small thing. She even knows that I'm there for her, and told me, "You are doing a good job taking care of Fuzzy."
Two years ago on Mother's Day, I was nine months pregnant with Kyle. I was sleeping the sleep of an exhausted mother-to-be. I had a vague notion of Terry getting out of bed. I keep drifting in and out of sleep, and hearing footsteps upstairs. At about 3am, I went upstairs to find Terry sleeping on the sofa in the game room outside Amanda's room. Amanda had gotten sick (all over herself and in her bed). Terry took care of it all, not waking me, or asking what he should do. He didn't want me, in my current state, to get sick. I was overwhelmed. Terry has always done a great job of taking care of the kids, but this was not his forte, and yet he did it. By this time she was seeming to settle down, having woken at least once an hour since she got him at 11pm. He hadn't been to sleep, so I relieved him. He had to go to church to teach Sunday School the next day, so I stayed home with her. Somehow it seemed appropriate. It was Mother's Day, and I was mothering my sick child. At that moment, there was nowhere else I'd rather be.
Such it is with the Digipet. I know, it's just a $4.98 little digital toy, but it's a connection with my rapidly growing daughter. I have a feeling that in the coming years as she grows up and away from us that I will cling to whatever she offers. I'm not going to burst into song, crooning,
"And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
"When you coming home, son?"
"I don't know when
But we'll get together then, dad. You know we'll have a good time then."
Oops. I sang. Maybe you're singing now, too.