I now conclude the short children’s story that I wrote based on the antics of my own daughter.
She was still trying to figure this out a few weeks later. By then, she had been given a brand new boy’s bike that was way too big for her, she had won a brand new video game that was for the video game system her brother owned, and she got to spend every Saturday with Patty, who was turning into her regular babysitter for their mom and dad’s date night. Alex always seemed to be busy and never got a chance to visit with Patty. Camille felt bad. She felt worse every time she got a new thing that she figured was something that her brother had probably included in his birthday wish.
One Saturday while her folks were out, Patty noticed that Camille seemed to be sad. “What’s wrong, Camille?” she asked.
“I accidentally stole my brother’s birthday wish,” Camille explained. She told Patty all about the problems she had been having with the bad birthday wish.
“Hmm. That’s pretty serious,” Patty said. “It seems like you haven’t been very nice to your brother. You blew out his candles, stole his wish, and you have been very selfish.”
Camille hung her head in shame. Patty looked thoughtful.
“It’s not nice to steal. But since you didn’t really mean to, maybe you can still fix this mess.”
Camille felt hope flower up in her chest. “How?” she asked.
Patty said, “To make up for this, first of all you need to apologize to Alex.”
Camille nodded, hoping that was it. But Patty wasn’t finished.
“Then you need to do something for him that is very unselfish. You ought to give him those things that you got that he wished for,” Patty suggested.
Camille thought about it and agreed. She wasn’t sure how she was going to replace going to the monster truck rally with Grandpa, though.
“One more thing,” Patty said. “You need to offer to let your brother have your birthday wish on your birthday.”
Camille was crestfallen. If she let him blow out her candles, she wouldn’t get a wish. She wasn’t sure she wanted to do that, but she said okay anyway.
Then she got an idea how she could make up for the monster truck rally, so she brightened up. She asked Patty to come over on Wednesday to help check on her progress with Operation Birthday Wish.
Alex came home the next day from his friend’s house. Camille was waiting for him.
“Alex, I’m sorry I blew out your candles and stole your birthday wish.”
Alex looked at her kind of cross-eyed, the way he did when he had no idea what she was talking about.
“Here. I want you to have these. Since you wished for them, they should be yours.” Camille handed Alex the Super Secret Agent Man Action Figure with SCUBA gear and five super secret phrases. She also gave him her new bike and the video game.
Alex’s face lit up in a big smile. “Thanks, Camille!”
Seeing Alex so happy made Camille feel much better. But she wasn’t done yet. She asked Alex to come straight home from school on Wednesday because she had a surprise for him. He seemed a bit suspicious, but since he was so happy about the action figure and other gifts, he agreed anyway.
Wednesday seemed to take forever to get there, but finally it arrived. Camille usually got home before Alex did, since her school was closer. She watched for Patty and Alex to show up. Her plan worked even better than she hoped, for Alex and Patty arrived at exactly the same time. Camille snuck out the back into the yard and left Alex to talk with Patty.
A few months later, Camille’s own big day arrived. She was very excited. A lot of people showed up to help her celebrate her birthday. Even Patty came and Alex was happy, too.
Patty asked Camille what she planned to do about her birthday candles. Camille shrugged. She didn’t know. She really wanted to blow out the candles herself, of course. But the birthday wish curse hadn’t completely gone away. She still got stuff from time to time that she was sure was meant for her brother. She always just handed the stuff over to him and tried not to think about it too much.
For much of her party, Camille was quiet. She was trying to decide what to do. Finally it was time to have the cake. Her mom brought out the cake with beautiful pink frosting and yellow flowers that were the hats on eight cute little fairies. Sticking out of the fairy hats were eight candles. Her dad carefully lit the candles.
It was her turn to hear the “Happy Birthday” song, and she sang along under her breath while her family sang it. When the song was over, Camille squeezed her eyes shut tight and made a birthday wish. Then she stopped and opened her eyes. She stared at the cake a moment and sighed.
“Alex, will you make out a wish and blow out the candles for me?” Camille asked him.
Alex smiled and gave Camille a hug. “Did you make a wish?” he asked her.
“Yeah, but I want you to, instead.”
Alex took a deep breath, leaned over, eyes wide open, and without pausing at all blew out all the candles. Then he took Patty’s hand in his.
“You didn’t make a wish!” Camille protested.
“Oh, yes I did,” Alex assured her. “I wished that your wishes would come true. You made mine come true already!”
Camille was so tickled that she laughed and giggled until she got the hiccups.