Friday was my 4th child (and second daughter's) birthday. She turned 12. In the car on the way to school that morning I said, "This is your last year before you're officially a teenager."
To which she replied, "Then I wish I could skip it so I could be a teenager now!"
Umm, I think she missed the point. But isn't that how we always are? Wanting to skip over things to get to the next phase instead of savoring where we are, what we have? I'm trying not to be that way-- to stop saying to myself "When I get X done and get to Y, then I'll be happier."
On Friday Curt had to be out of town which was a bummer that he wasn't there for her birthday but I tried to salvage the day by hiring a sitter and going out just the two of us. We had a nice dinner at Panera (at 12 that's fine dining) and then shopped for shoes and a dress for her semi-formal Valentine's dance that's coming up at her school. Can I just say I love Ross? We found a dress AND shoes there for cheap. And she looks adorable. Because it was so inexpensive she also talked me into a package of fuzzy socks and a pair of real Converse low-top tennis shoes (not the Target knock-offs she had before). She was thrilled and that's what birthdays are all about.
Saturday I got brave and took my youngest three out in the rain to get haircuts and run errands. We stopped and had lunch at Burger King. I have to say I haven't been inside a Burger King in years. It hasn't changed. We all had kids meals and I tried to tell myself that it was okay to indulge in the awfulness that is fast food if I only had a kids meal. If I'm wrong, please don't comment and tell me different.
My youngest got her long hair cut into a chin length bob. Now she walks around saying all the time "I love my hair! I look so cute!" Ah, to preserve that self-confidence, that self-esteem. I hate that that's ever going to change. But she has two older sisters so I know it will. Life and lies will conspire to erode that self-confidence and self-esteem. And I'll be there fighting tooth and nail to hold back the tides.
Saturday night Curt got home and we took the birthday girl out for her official birthday dinner. This year we changed up our birthday tradition. I used to make a nice meal of that child's choice for the whole family. But this year I hit upon the fact that it would cost about the same for the two of us to take just that child out to the restaurant of their choice (within reason) and spend some one on one time with that child. So this year we've been doing that and they've all really liked it.
She chose Carrabbas and drank her weight in Shirley Temples. She also tied the stem of the cherry into a knot with her tongue, which is a rite of passage in our family. Afterwards we stopped at Sweet Frog, a local frozen yogurt place, because that's what she asked for and this was her night. Curt and I weren't going to have anything until we walked in and saw that THEY HAD THIN MINT FROZEN YOGURT. We were goners. It was good stuff. When we got home she got her presents-- a curling iron (of her own-- very important in a house with multiple females), a Cake Pop baking set, and a new pair of pajamas. She spent the rest of the night curling her hair and experimenting with looks for her upcoming dance. It hit me that she's officially not a little girl any more. Sniff.
Sunday we didn't go to church because Curt was sick (he forced himself to go out for her dinner since he missed her actual day) and no one wanted to sit beside him in church with his hacking, coughing self. I could've taken the kids to church alone but after being alone with them during the week I just didn't have it in me. He barricaded himself upstairs in our bonus roomwhere his hacking could be heard throughout the house in spite of the closed door. I read, wrote, organized my recipes and piddled. A nice day all in all. Sometimes it's nice to just spend a Sunday that way. I will admit publicly here that I still made a to-do list. On a Sunday. I realize I have issues and I'm working on them.
Today the kids have off from school and the birthday girl has her party with friends. (A word on friend parties-- we only do them every other year. A wise friend gave me that suggestion years ago and I am SO GLAD I started it. I think I would stress right out the door if I had to throw six birthday parties every single year, especially considering that four of our six are in July/August/September.) Anyway, this is her year to have a party. We won a limo package in a raffle at her school so we are using that. The limo is picking her and 9 of her friends up at our house and taking them to a local restaurant for a nice dinner, cake, ice cream and presents. Then the limo will drive them all home. Should be fun. She's excited about it... and that's what counts. And mom? She's excited for all the birthday hoopla to be behind us. See? There I go, doing it again.
If I get my ducks in a row I will post some photos from the party this week. Hope you have a great Monday and a wonderful week!