Our sweet daughter turned four this week. Fern is such a gift, and there's nothing like a birthday to stir up all the love and feelings that parents have for their children. This year my sweet girl GOT the birthday thing. Back in the spring she announced that she wanted a huge party with girls and boys and all the families. She wanted a bonfire and movie outside. That's what I planned. (What a change from last year!) In true Meg-fashion, that's not the only thing I planned. (I often wonder how long I keep up the birthday/week festivities-can I maintain the precedent I've set?) To keep things organized: here are the pictures in three parts:
Part One: Cupcakes at school. We sent cupcakes to school for Fern's birthday. She was proud and excited. I'm thankful for her sweet teachers who sent pictures of Fern enjoying the attention. She posed with each kid in class and enjoyed her birthday song. This is a whole new side to Fern! I'm glad for a safe, nurturing school where Fern gets to spread her social wings.
Part two: We had a special grandparents dinner for Fern. She got a special table, candles, decorations, and complete attention from her biggest fans.
Unfortunately the candles and birthday song were too much for her. She hung her head, then burst into tears. The spotlight isn't for everyone.
We turned things around with presents and the attentive help of her older brother. He helped her open a few of the presents, then she warmed up and poked her head eagerly out of her shell and raged on.
Ridge had both his grandmothers at his beck and call. I offered to cut him in half, old testament style, but they were ok with this arrangement.
Fern got fun presents-Barbies, girl legos, and monogrammed scrubs with doctor tools. She was very happy. The next day I enjoyed building a horse pen for her barbies with Dr. Fern.
Part three: (I know it's a lot, but that's the only gear I know) We threw the party that Fern was planning. We cancelled the outdoor movie and bonfire due to threat of thunderstorm, but the rain held off the entire time (go figure). We had chili and cake, and kept our front door swinging with the inside-outside shuffle. The kids were thoroughly entertained with glow sticks and running in the front yard. (Fern didn't even want to stop for cake.)
There was no birthday song, no candles, and no special attention on Fern. It was everything that she needed it to be.
That night I crawled in bed with Fern for extra birthday snuggles and some extra time to gush about her party. She closed her eyes, looked up, and said excitedly, "I've never been four before!" She giggled and smiled and kept telling me, "I can't stop smiling!" That was the only time that she let me sing happy birthday to her. We were both completely full of happiness.