At 15 years old, I still believe in wishes. Wishes while you blow out the birthday candles, eyelash wishes, wishes on shooting stars, and even “it’s 11:11” wishes. For years, I tried to understand who it was that listened to everyone’s wishes and decided whose got granted and who had to tough it out on their own. Was there someone up in heaven? Was there a specific person, like Santa or the Easter Bunny, who dedicated himself to granting other people’s wishes? There is not a response to this that makes perfect sense, at least to me. Now, I think I have finally understood the meaning of wishes. Wishing gives people hope. Hope for the worried, hope for the scared, hope for the confused, hope for the forgotten, hope for those who have given up.
As an eight-year-old little girl with my six-year-old sister, helping Daddy explore the endless jungle of collared shirts, pressed pants, and the rainbow of ties at Brooks Brothers became hardly as entertaining as discovering the FAO Schwartz just down the hall, or even better yet, getting ice cream. Unfortunately, Daddy was too busy to tolerate our undeniable desire for a scoop of chocolate ice cream in a sprinkle cake cone.
When almost all hope of ever seeing the sacred, dirty countertop of Baskin Robbins was lost, Carter and I held a conference in the one of the many luxurious dressing rooms. Many ideas were suggested about how to get our daddy out of this irritatingly neat store and into the nearest ice cream shop, but none of them seemed convincing enough. We considered a lot of different options, but soon we just ended up sitting in front of the full-length mirror in the middle of the department store. As I was staring at our solemn reflections, I noticed a brown eyelash lying on the middle of Carter’s pink chubby cheek. That’s when it came to me. We would wish for ice cream!
First we searched our excited eyes for any loose eyelashes. When we discovered that most of our eyelashes were unfortunately intact, we began a search through the store. We found a clock and checked the time, we looked for birthday cakes, and when that was unsuccessful, we looked for any candles around the store. We even peered out the large windows, looking for a star in the middle of the afternoon. With the few eyelashes we had, we wished for ice cream. In a seemingly short amount of time, we were walking out of the store with several bags in tow, hopeful for a trip to Baskin Robbins.
When we didn’t turn left onto the usual route home, I felt a spark of excitement in my empty stomach. As we continued past our street, Carter and I began to bounce up and down in our seats. Then, when we turned into the familiar parking lot, I thought maybe, just maybe, our wishes had been granted.
That scoop of chocolate ice cream in a sprinkle cake cone was my best yet.