As I tucked her in, my daughter asked me if she could have ten wishes.
"Genies typically offer three wishes," I said. "Do you think I’m a government genie or something?”
"I want ten wishes," she said, and her fingers strummed the air, staring up at the ceiling, blinking fast, excited.
"Fine," I said to her. "What do you wish for?"
She grinned and tensed up a bit with excitement. Then, out it all came.
"I wish for a castle," she said.
I nodded. "A castle is a good thing to wish for. With towers?"
"Towers," she agreed. "That would be nice."
"On top of a hill?"
"With a moat?"
She looked at me sideways.
"Okay," she said.
"With a-" but before I could say anything more, she put a hand over my mouth.
"My second wish is for a bicycle."
"You already have a bicycle," I said.
"A bicycle," she said, more forcefully.
"I think I can fill your order, then. What's next?"
"My third wish is that I could take a ride on a magic carpet."
I raised my eyebrows. "You're all over the map, kid."
"I wish I could stay up all night."
"That's like the exact opposite of what we wish for you every night, you know."
She frowned at me. "For my next wish..." she said slowly, "I want to be a mouse."
She thought about it for a moment. "Then I want to be a cat."
"You want to be a cat?"
"Then I'd chase myself."
"That's oddly profound," I said in wonder.
"No, no, no, no!" she waved her hands in excitement. "I wish I was a chick." She clapped her hands, "A chick! And I would say, la dee dah, la dee dah, hey boys, how's it going."
"Oh," I said, surprised. "You want to be that kind of chick?"
She narrowed her eyes. "I wish I was vanishing cream."
"Now you wish you were a salve?"
"Then I wish I could see through a peephole."
"I've got to tell you that's the weirdest wish I've ever heard."
"Then I want to see through Jeremy's eyes."
"Okay, now that is the weirdest wish I've ever heard. Who is Jeremy?"
"He's a cat."
"Jeremy the cat?"
"Yes," she rolled her eyes. "You know. The cat and mouse. Tom and Jeremy."
"Ohhh," I said. "You mean Tom and Jerry."
She looked at me for a moment. "I don't know who that is."
"Never mind. That's a lot of wishes."
"Dad?" she said.
"I still got one more wish."
"I can't wait to hear it.
"I wish I had a friend."
I kissed her on the forehead and tucked her in. "I wish that too, sweetheart. Maybe we can work on making that one come true."