We had a big time celebrating Fern's birthday last Thursday. We had two days of non-stop small activities for our quiet, shy, introvert. While Burl wants to invite every person he knows and shut down our street for a neighborhood food fight birthday party, Fern doesn't do well with all the attention. I'm an expert in over-the-top celebrations, so I've had to change my ways when it comes to accurately celebrating Fern. (Truth be told, I love that as well. The extrovert in me loves slowing down and getting to know the introvert-that's why falling in love with John was an adventure.) However, this isn't about me. It's about Fern.
I always love setting up streamers and balloons for that birthday morning. I wished that I could have gotten pictures of her walking in and seeing a Hello Kitty balloon and a doughnut with candles, but I had to leave the camera off because until I know she's ready. While we usually go for one big present, we went a different direction this year. She loves little treasures, so we got what I like to call "a bunch of little crap" that she loved as well as a few gymnastic classes. Watching her warm up to gymnastics and participate was close to a spiritual experience to me. I might have cried a little when she first decided to participate on her own.
On day 2, we had her parties. We had a little girl party for lunch and family for dinner. She named three little girls and their brothers and said, "that's all I want to come to my party."
The boys were rowdy in Burl's room while the girls played quietly in Fern's room. We did two little crafts then had lunch. The theme was Pink & Purple, which Fern picked out herself. They were so sweet and so quiet and so girly. Bless it, because I loved it all!
That night at dinner, she again needed her big brothers help to blow out the candles and open her presents. Once she saw the gifts, she warmed up and participated.
By the end of the night, she was her loud self. She is a quiet little girl, but she has a loud, wild side to her that comes out when she feels safe. The planets have to align for her to show this part of herself-comfort, playfulness, and little direction attention. Before the night was over, I grabbed a rowdy family picture of us. This year, we celebrated her in a way that suited her and it was wonderful to see her see energy. It was good to know that at all the celebrations, at the end of family night, she let it out with a big laugh and a big scream. That's our Fern.