Monday, April 20, 2009

Birthday girls

Yes, it was all princesses all the time for the birthday girls last week. M and J have back-to-back birthdays; M turned 7 and J turned four, which she indicates when asked by holding up four fingers. ("I am this old!") The morning of her birthday she said, "I am never going to be three again!" Which was a little poignant.

Each girl received a nice bed canopy from their "Alabama" grandmother, which they loved, loved, LOVED! And they received other princessy stuff as well. The girls made their own cakes (one cake mix divided into two separate cake pans) and decorated theirs. M really got into the cake decorating, to the point that she is saying she wants to be a professional cake decorator when she grows up. (She wrote the letters on her cake in the picture below -- pretty good for a first-grader.) Her Spanish teacher is a cake decorator, too, and has offered to lend M her tools. :) Both girls celebrated birthdays with small celebrations at school. We attended the one for M; at the end, the whole class got up and sang "Happy Birthday" in a very hammy way, with hand motions and everything; at the end, the entire class rushed up to her with hands extended in a dramatic flourish. She hid behind me, so I had a couple dozen kids right up in my face, which was funny and a little unexpected. "I liked my whole party," M said later, "except for afterward when we had to have a long talk about respectful behavior during birthday parties."

We try to take birthdays beyond the presents, though. One thing we did new this year was to say the birthday blessing from the Catholic Household Book of Blessings. We did that as part of the meal blessing before their special birthday dinner. And then, after the cake and before the presents, we each take turns saying something about why we're glad the person was born, which the kids usually are pretty enthusiastic and generous about. This year B was pretty stricken with jealousy, but even he managed to come up with something non-sarcastic for each of the girls.

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