Between traveling for Thanksgiving, prepping for Christmas and finalizing all the move arrangements, Ally’s birthday at the beginning of the month got a little squeezed for attention. Of course, she handled it all with typical aplomb. Really.
Right now, Ally is coasting through life on rainbow roller skates. Unlike her more serious sister, at two, Ally likes nothing more than making us laugh with silly faces, shaking her bum on any dance floor and being the self-elected mayor of day care.
She let her big sister ‘help’ unwrap her presents and ‘help’ blow our her candles and ‘help’ eat that first piece of cake. But it’s all good. Life as a two year old with a big sister and a house full of dolls is a pretty good life. Except nap time. Nap time still stinks.
Last week, Mama’s co-worker told her that she hoped Michelle realized that the one year old’s birthday was really for the four-year old. That indeed proved to be the case, but it didn’t dampen anyone’s enthusiasm. At least this year, you were more than happy to share to the spotlight with your big sister.
I could rehash the past year and talk about all the usual platitudes (it went too fast, you are adorable, we spent so much on bourbon), but let me just tell you about one thing in this last letter. Your smile.
In the past three months, as you’ve moved beyond a gurgling, crying bauble of flesh into a tiny, semi-mobile person you’ve frequently found the world, even at its most mundane, quite funny. I hope you never lose that talent, it will serve you well.
The smile is a work of art that perhaps only parent could love. Indeed, around here we call it the ‘Daddy face’ as there are copious anecdotes and even a few fading photos of your old man sporting a suspiciously familiar grin. Any questions of paternity would be short-lived.
Raising a family is not easy and it is certainly not stress-free. There are times when the whining, crying and squeaky toys (that last one is Dash’s fault) have me contemplating a padded room. That is when you have often come to the rescue lately. Dust balls? Cheerios? The indignity of diaper changes? It’s all just humorous fodder. That goofy, scrunched up grin and chuffing laugh could slice through the hardest heart and make any burden as light as a feather.
I would recognize that smile anywhere and I always will.
We had a good run. We jumped from bouncy house to bouncy house and she never questioned it. I guess she thought it was a fun weekend activity that featured cake and all her friends. But this February it finally caught up to us when she started to talking about her party. Uh oh.
So we she had a party. We found a place (the Y), a theme (princess/Hawaii), an activity (gymnastics – didn’t see that coming) and made some cupcakes (half chocolate/half vanilla).
And it was a good day. Happy fourth birthday, big sister.
There were plenty of stories from our whirling dervish of a trip down the Turnpike a couple weeks ago. Dying Easter eggs, sleeping in a big bed, Gigi’s 90th birthday party, morning egg hunts, chocolate overload and a pretty Sunday dress. I’m getting tired all over again just thinking about. I think I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:
Cecilia’s celebrated her first birthday this past weekend with verve and style. Actually she was a little sick (how appropriate given the day care colds we’ve endured this year) and off her game, but even on an off day she managed to make everyone smile.
One lesson learned for next year: start the party earlier. By the time we presented the birthday girl with her cupcake she was teetering on the edge of a meltdown and even pink buttercream wasn’t going to save her. She was a bit half hearted in her tasting. Luckily she’ll have plenty more birthdays to sample.