Friday, September 26, 2008

A Bedtime Story for David's 40th Birthday

Jarrah thinks I'm very good at telling stories, so in honor of David's birthday this Monday, I'm going to tell ours.

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, David was born. He wasn't always 6'2", no, apparently he was small and bald like other babies. He lived in the jungle near Perth, Australia, a place so remote that other Australians don't even go there. His parents, Joan and John, were very happy to meet him, and he was "a lovely, easy baby," though soon he would be a terror. Two years later, he was joined by his brother, Ben, and they were all happy together. If you ask David, he'll tell you that his childhood was filled with trampolines and go-carts and ice cream "lollies," ergo, his childhood was not like other people's.

David doesn't talk much about these magical times, but I know that he spent summers on a mythical island covered with furry creatures found nowhere else in the world. I know he traveled around Europe in a van while his family was on a Busman's Holiday. I know he liked to make things like telescopes and computers, his evil genius tendencies emerging very young.

In this faraway land, kids don't leave home when they go to college, and if you tell them that YOU did, they ask if you're an orphan. So David stayed happily with his mum and dad and his gadgets until he reached the manly age of 25, at which point a guy at his work committed treason against the U.S. government (that is another story, Dear Children) and David found himself taking this guy's place on a plane to California. For a while, he worked and lived in the non-magical land of Oceanside, and when the people stopped paying him, he traveled across our country in search of the Holy Grails of American tourism, like Las Vegas. His quest fulfilled, he learned there was somehow another job and more money and let's just say to this day he's never had a job interview. No, David's powers enable him to invent things, just as he did as a child, for a living, and also to wear only clothing obtained for free at conventions, which instead of making him look like a slob causes investors to announce "Ah, the talent's here!" when he walks in a room.

One day, when David was about to turn 30, the king and queen threw a ball and invited every eligible prince in the land, or at least every prince working at Applied Magic. Being the only prince who was free that weekend, David polished his brown shoes with black paint and traveled to the distant land of Irvine to see the princess get married. But the princess was crafty, yes she was, and she cast a spell on David which forced him to eat dinner with a table of women in matching blue dresses. Though neither of them knew it that night, one of those blue-dressed women was his destiny,and that destiny, Dear Children, was Samantha.

Time went by, Dear Children, and David and Samantha became very close. They saw movies together, good ones and bad ones, and ate a lot of pie. More time went by, and finally, one day they kissed. They had a lot of fun. More time went by, and David invented a magical box that could turn ordinary home video into movies. Samantha taught classes, and worked very hard on not waving her wand and turning her dissertation into a book. They were very happy, even when people asked David if he planned to return to Australia soon, and he said yes while Samantha glared.

One day, when David had been living in a large apartment by himself for many months, he and Samantha decided to live together. They were both a little afraid, because they didn't want to break the spell and start hating each other. But, lo, the new life together was easy, and nice. They both kept working, and one day Samantha actually finished her dissertation.

To celebrate, David and Samantha planned a day in Fantasyland, and also Tomorrowland, and Frontierland. They ate frozen bananas and rode pirate ships. At the end of the day, Samantha was weary and wanted to rest on her fainting couch. David insisted that she put on a gown for dinner, and in general behaved peculiarly. While they were waiting for their salad, David offered a toast which included the word "wife." Suddenly, a diamond ring appeared, and desserts and well-wishers. They were getting married. They both cried.

There was some dress-shopping, and many notebooks filled with magazine clippings, and one day there was a magical wedding under a grape-covered canopy and a big, big party with friends and family. And they were very happy, Dear Children. Very happy.

One day they decided to become three instead of two. They were a family already, but they wanted to become a bigger one. But no magic happened. And for some time they kept on being happy but then they started to get worried.

The next part is not appropriate for a bedtime story, Dear Children. It's too scary. There's a lot of blood, and visits to the hospital, and sharp, sharp needles. A lot of waiting and tears and nothing, nothing, nothing. If only a witch had appeared and asked them to spin straw into gold, they would have found a way. But no witch appeared. Sometimes when she was without David, Samantha stared at the wall and tried to cry but there didn't seem any point. She had made a wish, but she was powerless to help it come true.

And so the years went by. Sometimes David and Samantha were able to forget and still were very happy. They traveled far and near, saw many movies, took long, beautiful walks. They laughed with friends, and at night when they were snug in their bed, they felt very, very grateful to have each other.

But something was missing, Dear Children. And one day, as if someone had waved a magic wand, David and Samantha knew what it was. With new hope they wrote a letter to a land far, far away and learned that they were going to have a baby. Their baby was already born, and living happily with her friends on the other side of the world. But for a whole year, none of them knew that. David and Samantha waited, and hoped.

It took many, many people, and two governments, to create a family. David and Samantha worked and waited for more than a year, and finally, the time was nigh. They answered the phone one morning, and the caller on the other end put a spell on their computer. When they looked into it, they could see their baby. She had a very round head, very round eyes, and was very beautiful. And they cried.

Soon it was time to fly to the other side of the world. They weren't alone--their friends Paul and Mary made the journey,too. And very soon after, the baby whose face they already saw in their dreams was placed in their arms. She was very heavy, and this made them laugh. She ate some candy and stared at them. She was named after a tree and a flower.

And that's how it began. No, Dear Children, it wasn't like a fairy tale at all. There was no happily ever after. They were a family, but sometimes there was crying without end and no sleep and throwing tacos at the wall. Sometimes when David or Samantha opened the baby's door in the morning, her cuteness struck them like someone squeezing their hearts. As time went by, they all fell in love, and Three was a Magic Number.

Now it's nearly three years later, but our story doesn't end, Dear Children. The baby walks and talks and makes everyone laugh. David and Samantha are tired but happy, and each day brings something new. The baby loves to sing and dance like her mama, and loves to space out at the computer like her papa. The journey keeps going.

Sometimes, late and night, Samantha marvels at how many things had to happen, at a precise time and in a precise order, for three people from faraway lands to be under one roof as a family. And she knows that, way back when, her wishes were all being granted, even though she didn't know it at the time.

14 comments:

Type (little) a said...

I'm verklempt. Great story.

And Happy Birthday David.

Caroline said...

You're so awesome. :)

Happy birthday to David!

Mamasphere said...

What a beautiful story. Happy Birthday to your David.

Chinazhoumom said...

Sam I love to read you writing - it just flows - like a stream in the springtime!

A lovely story!

Carol

Jennifer said...

B E A U T I F U L !!!!

What a fabulous bedtime story. I think you should illustrate it and publish it.

Happy Birthday David!!!

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Oh, well, make me cry why don't ya?

Happy Birthday David.

What a treasure of a gift, Sam.

Anonymous said...

Lovely. Happy Birthday and Happy Family.
xoxo
s

Anonymous said...

Love the story, the far away land sounds wonderful to me ;-)

Looking forward to 3 being that magical number shortly - end of November for us.

Sambo

The Wades said...

You are amazing! That little fairy tale made me so darn happy. Jarrah's right--you are very good at telling stories!! :)

That was a pleasure to read. Thanks for sharing.

Happy Birthday, David.

dena said...

Oh, now I feel like I can go to bed. Thanks for the beautiful story!

Happy belated Birthday, David.

Martha said...

Ohhhhh... tell it again, Sam!!

Mary said...

So sweet. Love it.

Happy Birthday, David!

oxoxo,

Mary

Anonymous said...

This made me very tear-y. xxx lix

Anonymous said...

Oh Sam,

This is the most beautiful real life story I have ever heard. Three of you makes such a happy family. I don't read blogs much, and if I do, it is usually quite late, so I usually just skip making comments, but I have to add to this one. I am truly very happy for all three of you.

A belated happy birthday wish to Dave.

love,

Yinghong