All of our birthdays are sort of squished in between the holidays. Mine comes three days after Halloween; Jake’s is a week later; Adeline’s is the 27th which makes it very near Thanksgiving. I always feel like there’s this continuous blur of sugar, from trick-or-treat candy to birthday cake to pumpkin pie and then Christmas cookies. There’s so much busy-ness and planning for the holidays that I worry about Adeline’s birthday sort of getting lost in the shuffle.
What I mean by that, of course, is I worry that my plans for her birthday will get lost in the shuffle, because for a kid it doesn’t take much to make a birthday special. Adeline was on cloud 9 the whole day, and not really because of any particular thing we did or gave her, but simply because it was her birthday. The thing is, I don’t think my plans are ever too over the top, and yet somehow I still can’t manage to pull off everything I’d like to.
This year there were extenuating circumstances; we traveled to my parents house for Thanksgiving, and Jake ended up getting sick the day before we were supposed to leave. So we stayed an extra day and didn’t get home til the evening before Adeline’s birthday. There simply was not enough time to unpack, finish sewing the Sleepover Pals from Wee Wonderfuls, go to the grocery store, make the cake, wrap the presents, and make ricotta cheese from a gallon of milk that was about to go bad. Especially after I spent a good 20 minutes consoling a tearful Adeline at bedtime, when she suddenly declared that she didn’t want to turn four, but wished to remain three forever and never grow bigger. That was something I hadn’t accounted for.
Anyway, it seemed simple in my head: sew a few dolls, bake cupcakes, make a nice dinner. Nothing elaborate. And yet there were no dolls. No homemade cupcakes (again!). She wasn’t terribly thrilled about the easel we gave her.
But there was ice cream cake. And balloons. And a lovely, last-minute gathering with a few good friends. There were candles to blow out (which she did after declaring her wish: to go ice skating right now). And there was lasagna made with homemade ricotta cheese. And there was a happy little girl who had no idea that her mother’s expectations for the day had not been fulfilled.
Next year, though, there will be a homemade cake!