“Here.” I push a white box with a pink ribbon across the table, and Lily’s eyes light up.
“What is it?”
Lily pauses eating her breakfast to open the package. The kids are out from school today as there are teachers’ meetings. After letting her sleep in, we are having brunch together at a café nearby. Mom, the aunts, and cousins will descend on our home today for a girls-only birthday party and sleepover. I’m a little miffed to be pushed aside, but Lily is through the roof excited about having everyone at the house.
“Daddy!” she squeals. “I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it. Oh my gosh!”
“Do you like it?”
“It’s the best!” She sets her new pink metallic phone on the table, jumping up to come around to my side, and gives me a huge hug. “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
“I added numbers in there—mine, Grandma’s, your aunts’, and uncles’.”
She returns to her seat. “I can’t believe this. You said I had to wait for sixth grade—”
“Well, the school year will be over in a few months, and I figured you would like it now. You can take pictures at your party tonight and get all of your friends’ numbers before summer. You know, that kind of stuff.”
We’re not going to address any ideas that I’m a pushover here, as Irina would accuse, but I love seeing her so excited.