Candles, Cuddles and Wishes
It was our daughter’s fourth birthday this week. With a hop, skip and a jump, it seems, we have arrived in the wondrous realm of the little girl. From Poppy Troll birthday banners, confetti balloons, gigantic rose gold helium creations to tiaras, mermaid costumes and cuddles, it’s a glorious place to spend time.
She woke up shyly on Tuesday and came to peek into the living room where her presents and balloons were piled high on the coffee table. After arriving at school somewhat later than usual she spent the morning there with celebratory cupcakes before we headed to the Natural History Museum for a birthday playdate. I’ve spent so much time in the past at the Natural History Museums on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and on London’s Cromwell Road, that arriving on Exposition Boulevard was like a home from home. As my daughter and her friends gleefully discovered exhibit after exhibit I chuckled at the memories of my then toddler son, transfixed by the roaring T.rex in London and also of identical outings in Manhattan where he and his playmates ran wild in the galleries.
We had happy birthday songs and chocolates after ballet class and then we headed home to birthday dinner and a long awaited chocolate cake, four candles and most importantly, her birthday wish. She spent most of the evening happily playing with new lego and costumes given by close friends.
Saturday was the day of the big party. Excitement mounted throughout the afternoon and as my husband and I headed to Venice with our tiara and necklace adorned birthday girl we smiled at the thought of spirits climbing yet higher when the event itself began. It was a lovely party. I’d highly recommend the venue, Under the Sea, a magical indoor playground with murals of ocean wonders. We’d been there before for play dates and our babysitter had told us that they did private parties at the weekend. For the two hour stretch my daughter and her friends played on the equipment, were entertained by a mermaid, enjoyed treasure hunts and face painting and ate pizza and cake while the adults chatted and spent that rare time together where conversations could be sustained. It was a tired and supremely contented birthday girl who returned home with a sack of beautiful gifts from her generous guests.
The transition from three to four has been a significant one. This will be the first birthday that she really remembers as it was the first time that she truly understood the significance of the event itself. I walk with her now in the park as she practices on her training bike and she finds such happiness in my attention that I’m filled with joy at the wonder of the bond a mother shares with her daughter. I am amazed all over again that I’m lucky enough to experience it in this lifetime.