Emilia likes to make cards. She has a basket filled with stickers and glue and ribbon and glitter and discarded Hallmark product and she draws upon the contents of that basket frequently to craft fancifully illustrated and elaborately decorated cartes de voeux for every occasion, including but not limited to birthdays, holidays, dinnertime, bedtime, breakfast and the weekend, and expressing sentiments ranging from thanks for the pancakes, congratulations on picking me up from school, condolences on having your Macbook scribbled upon with crayon, I’m sorry that I scribbled on your Macbook with crayon, I love you even though you got mad that I scribbled on your Macbook with crayon, to my favorite, ‘RJOV‘, which you might think is some obscure Latin acronym but actually means ‘I love you’ in the code of the five year old who lacks sufficient vowels in her alphabet sticker supply (‘the J looks like an L Mommy if you look at it backwards and also I didn’t have an E’. She didn’t say what the ‘R’ represents. I’m choosing to go with ROCKSTAR.)
I love getting these cards. I especially loved the one that I received yesterday, slipped under my office door while I was on a long-distance business call, the envelope signed in sprawling cursive:
Note, please, that her proper surname is not actually ‘Sparkles.’ I’m not saying that wouldn’t be awesome, I’m just saying that if that were her surname, I’d have done better with her given name and gone with something more like ‘Tootsy’ or ‘Trixie’ or ‘Unicornia DancingGirl’ than, you know, Emilia, which does not lend itself well to association with any enterprise related to pasties, glitter or pixie dust.
That said, it seems that Emilia is making an effort to rebrand herself. There could be excellent reasons for that; she has, after all, had her digital identity defined for her by her mother for the last five years, and it’s to be expected that at some point she might try to claim that identity. Or it’s just that she’s ashamed of me, and is only able to express it by changing her name and slipping aggro greeting cards under my home office door:
I’m just going to wring some faint solace from the fact that it’s not my birthday. And resist sending that same card back to her in an envelope signed ‘Mommy Sparkles’ with a Post-It that reads, you couldn’t spell out LUSH yourself, with your stickers? This is why Mommy drinks, sweetie.