Being a princess isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
A child is a curly, dimpled lunatic.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Yes, I know, I gots some ‘splainin’ to do. I went AWOL but I have reasons.
Last Thursday, my daughter, my youngest, turned 6 years old (but we still call her “the baby.” “Oops, can you carry the baby to her bed? She fell asleep reading on the couch.” Seriously, when does this stop? Will she cease to be the baby only when she has children of her own?).
This was The Big Day that we had been counting down for the past 132 days. I think, I hope, that it was all she’d hoped for.
Upon awakening, she got to open the presents from relatives not present. She donned her birthday tiara, which she had specifically requested. (Ugh. It is SO HARD to fight the princess instinct.) We attempted to eat at the Cereal Bowl for breakfast (closed until August? Cereal Bowl, how could you?) and bought a Cold Stone Creamery ice cream cake with Birthday Cake flavored ice cream and Red Velvet cake. Oh, the food coloring, I’m shuddering as I type it, but birthdays happen only once a year and it was The Big Day.
The candles were green, blue, red, orange, yellow; and the box claimed that each would burn with a fire the same shade as the candle wax. I can’t even imagine what sort of chemicals would be involved with such an event, but I’m happy (sort of, regular candles would have been much cheaper) to report that all the flames looked the same to me.
After dinner and cake more presents were opened, and then we set about the task of tiring out the children as quickly as possible.
Because, you see, at 4am we were waking them back up and throwing them into the car. To make a 7am flight. To Orlando.
Jeff and I had arranged for a total surprise family trip- our first ever- to Disney World.
So many things went awry in that final week, and it was absolute torture keeping the secret and making late night phone calls to the resort and to Expedia so they wouldn’t hear. It was insanely stressful, and I barely had a moment to reflect on the day of my little one’s birth.
An easy pregnancy, an easy labor, an almost instant recovery. A high-energy, easy-going toddler, who was almost always happy and perfectly capable of entertaining herself with seemingly nothing– rocks and dirt, blades of grass, a pencil and paper. A preschooler perpetually frustrated about always being the littlest. The most physical, cheerful, vocal of all my children, whose teacher called her, to my great chagrin, “our little cheerleader.”
And now, a charming balance between rough and tumble tomboy and fashion-forward princess. A singer, a dancer, a reader, a thinker, a tiny thing with so much laughter inside.
And yet I see this photo I took a week ago and I barely know her. What happened, in that space between five years old and six? She looks so much older to me. No longer the baby, but a little girl. And, god help me, not so little anymore.
Lordy, I forgot to mention we had a little pre-birthday gathering the weekend before at the beach house: