I timed my morning drop off of Hansel & Gretel perfectly.
Cinderella was already at camp, dropped off by her Dad who chooses to handle her transportation himself, despite my offers to help out since I am there anyway with H & G.
She was radiant. Bubbly. Like the Cinderella I know and not the gloomy sour-puss I've seen the past few weeks.
I called her over. She spotted the small box in my hand that was wrapped in golden paper.
I got a present!?!?!?!?
"Happy Birthday. You look so beautiful today."
I hugged her, holding her tight and taking in the scent of her freshly shampoo'd hair, still damp because it's so thick. I cradled her face in my hands, wished her a happy birthday, and kissed her cheek that was pink and glowing from the smiling one should always do on their birthday.
She smiled broader, thanked me and skipped off with her gift and hand-written card in which I told her how much I loved and missed her. She plopped to the floor and opened them surrounded by her friends.
I didn't linger. Didn't wait for her reaction or additional thanks. I wanted her to have her space to process and digest the sentiments expressed in my card and the message of the bracelet.
I had done what I intended to do. I reached out and she accepted.
I sat in my car and shed a few tears. I was relieved. And realized how much I missed that kid.
Today I Believe ... there is hope for our relationship.