Two women from Make A Wish came by tonight to talk to us and write down Ana’s wishes. The whole thing was so surreal, it was all I could do to keep from blurting out something crazy.
“Can she wish for a unicorn with wings?”
What would you wish for if you were 11, seriously ill and could have anything you wanted? Well, anything within the guidelines of Make a Wish, that is. They can’t buy you a house, or make you rich. You can’t go on a domestic trip for more than 7 days and you can’t make the wish drag on (e.g., a vacation once a year for 10 years). It’s the real life equivalent of that genie rule that says you can wish for anything you want, except for more wishes. What a drag.
So, that’s a rather long winded way of saying that even though the whole Make A Wish process should be delightful and fun, it was actually quite stressful. Ana’s top wish is to go to Hawaii, but she doesn’t really have a reason for that – which is apparently kind of important because they really want to make sure that she doesn’t regret her wish. They actually said that! Why even introduce that as a possibility? It’s an 11 hour flight to Hawaii which really cuts into the actual vacation time, but Ana really wants to go to Hawaii so…STRESS. The interview went something like this.
Make-A-Wish (MAW): So, Ana, now for the fun part – what would you wish for if you could wish for anything in the world?
Ana: A trip to Hawaii
MAW: Where in Hawaii?
MAW: Is there an Island you want to visit? Why do you want to go to Hawaii?
Ana: Well, uh, the beaches?
MAW: Well there are lots of beaches closer – like the Caribbean.
Ana: (looking at me in frustration) Um…
Me: (cutting in) So, I’m not sure why she wants to go to Hawaii but I know she’s always wanted a real vacation and I think that’s what Hawaii represents to her…
And it just sort of went on like that. It got to the point where even I started feeling stressed out because I was thinking maybe she wants to go to Hawaii because I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii and, good Lord, is this my wish? Am I somehow insinuating my own desire to travel somewhere exotic and tropical into Ana’s psyche? I mean, I don’t even know why I would want to go to Hawaii. No, this isn’t MY wish. Or…is it my wish? Ahhhhh!! I really thought the desire to go to Hawaii was implanted into her brain when she was around six and fell in love with Lilo and Stitch.
Jim tried to redirect the whole thing by asking for example wishes that other kids had made. The big one for Ana’s age group is apparently going to Disney. Ana is not on board with that, but she did bring up the desire to sing on Glee. The MAW volunteer asked Ana if she would be okay just going to the set and meeting the stars. Ana said, “No, I want to sing.” THAT’S MY GIRL! But, man, what a lot of pressure on a kid to make a wish that has to be THE right wish. I wish there were no stipulations. I wish she could wish to go to Hawaii and sing on Glee and go on a shopping spree. I wish we could just do all that stuff for her on our own. It must be so much easier if you’re rich and famous and your kid gets really sick. You can distract them by granting all their wishes. I’d make it snow cotton candy ice cream and buy her a flying pony.
Reality’s such a jerk, isn’t it? I wish I was happier about Make a Wish.