Bloganuary Daily Prompt for January 28, 2023: Describe your perfect birthday cake.
From Nicki Flores’ Journal
“Is my birthday coming up soon?” Magdalena asked the other day when she was writing in her journal.
“Yes, in a few weeks,” I replied.
“Can I have a carob coconut cake?” she asked.
“Sure…” I replied. “How do you know about that?”
Carob coconut cakes are our family tradition, and we serve them for every birthday. I figured my dad must have told her about them.
“Kiana told me,” she replied. “She says they’re the best and very healthy, too.”
“Kiana? Do you mean my grandma? How do you know about her? Did Jonah tell you?”
Magdalena insists on names–and full names at that. We tried out a few nicknames for her, Maggie and Lena, but she insisted that she is Magdalena. And she doesn’t call me Mom, and she doesn’t call Dad Grandpa. She calls me Nicolette–not even Nicki! And she calls Dad Jonah. So, it was natural for me to figure that by Kiana she meant Grandma. But I wasn’t sure how she knew about her, or knew her name. Whenever I’d mentioned her, I’d always said something like “my grandma.”
“She’s here, duh! How could I not know about her?” Magdalena replied.
“When is she here?” I asked.
“All the time.”
Now, I know I feel my grandma’s presence, nearly always. It’s always been like that. And sometimes, I hear her voice talking to me. But I thought this was just something internal, some kind of internal experience I was having, since we were so close. But how could Magdalena feel it?
“Can you give an example?” I asked.
I waited for more.
“OK,” Magdalena continued. “For example, when we were building my school project, Kiana helped, too.”
“Hmm. I didn’t see her when I came into the studio.”
“That’s because she wasn’t there then. She came in after you.”
“Can you tell me other times?”
“Oh, all the time.”
I waited again.
“OK, so, for example, last night, she read me My Pizzi-cat-o Polka.”
“Did you enjoy it?”
“Oh, yeah! It’s a kids’ classic, Kiana says. And she did all the voices. She does the cat really well!”
I remembered Kiana reading that to me and saying the same thing–“a kids’ classic.” She did all the voices then, too, and the cat was especially convincing.
“And at our Harvestfest she ate with us. She said the tofurkey was very delicious and nutritious. She sat next to me.”
“Gosh,” was all I could say in response. Maybe, Magdalena had somehow learned about Grandma, probably from Jonah. And so she imagined her, and Grandma had become a type of imaginary friend for her. That was a good possibility, it seemed to me.
I tried it out on Magdalena.
“Did my dad–did Jonah tell you all about my grandma, about Kiana? And do you think maybe you are imagining her, like she’s an imaginary friend?”
“Really,” said Magdalena. “What need do I have for imaginary friends, when I have so many people here already?”
Magdalena closed her journal and headed outside.
I thought for a long moment. What if, somehow, what she said were true, and somehow, Magdalena was aware of Grandma’s spirit, too? What if Grandma’s spiritual presence was so strong that even someone who’d never met her, could become aware of it? Now, certainly, Magdalena is a highly sensitive child, and she doesn’t have a lot of preconceived notions about what’s possible and what’s not… so maybe, just maybe, Magdalena has seen, met, spoke to, and become friends with her great grandma! No matter how much I thought this through, I couldn’t find any harm in believing Magdalena and assuming that this was the case. Sure, it stretched my own conceptions about what was possible–but hey, that’s what kids are for!
I went outside to find Magdalena. She was drawing at the art table, so into her work that she didn’t want to talk. When I told her I believed her, she said, “OK,” like it was no big deal either way. I guess I’m the one for whom it’s a big deal!
“We’re having that cake, right?” she asked.
“Yes,” I replied, “we are. Maybe your great grandma, maybe Kiana, will even help bake it!”
“Then it will for sure be delicious and nutritious!” Magdalena answered.