|Cinderella cake from Safeway. Before her skirt melted.|
And so, it was highly amusing when she woke up on her actual birthday and turned on the light in her room and got to playing, completely unaware that the longed-for day had actually arrived! Christopher and I went in to see her and told her we had a song to sing to her. We sang "Happy Birthday" and delight began to spread across her face as it began to dawn on her that it had at last arrived!
She had pancakes for breakfast and got to open presents and got to do pretty much whatever she wanted (within reason). She took a nap and in the evening, her friends began to arrive for her very first kid party. I hadn't told her that they would probably bring presents because I didn't want her to have a case of the "gimmees" and I didn't want anyone to feel pressured to bring something. So when each family showed up at the door with a gift bag in hand, she was so excited! I had to smile.
Well, we had a few mishaps along the way. We ran out of propane for the barbecue grill and Christopher made it to the hardware store just before it closed. Whew, that was a close one. And part of the frosting on Burrito's Cinderella cake melted as the kitchen got warm (but luckily, I don't think Burrito noticed). And then there was the whole insult to my skills as a cake-maker that were overlooked in Burrito's preference for a sugary (tasteless?) store-bought cake. But for once my foodie self yielded to my daughter. A Cinderella cake she wants? A Cinderella cake she shall have!
It was a wonderful evening. Guests stayed in the backyard until the sun began to set. Children decorated our patio with sidewalk chalk. Children ran everywhere. Children played in the new sandbox we gave Burrito. Children blew bubbles. Adults conversed happily. The food spread was delicious (thanks to the birthday party ideas of Pioneer Woman, we served sliders and homemade mac and cheese with a topping bar of caramelized onions, Gorgonzola cheese and bacon...yum!).
My heart was so full watching my daughter happily playing with her friends. You see, growing up I had virtually no friends...or at least, virtually no "in person" friends. Partly due to my shyness, partly due to a little over-protectiveness from my parents, and partly due to frequent moves that made it hard to put down roots, I was pretty lonely growing up, even if I didn't always acknowledge it to myself. I love that my daughter has such wonderful social skills, such an ability to make new friends and interact with them whole-heartedly. I love that she doesn't feel lonely most of the time. After all, God made us for relationships, with Himself and others.
And my heart was full as I looked around at the group of parents who had gathered with us for this special day. I was so very lonely in North Dakota, and now God has set this lonely one in a family of other believers with whom I can be myself, warts and all. Each of the friends who gathered with us add something very special to my life. I am a better person for knowing them all.
My heart is full indeed...and my daughter is three...what joy...