#482 My sister’s birthday

There are some days, lo and behold, that I get as excited by as I do my own birthday – and apart from Christmas and Easter, these other days are the birthdays of my immediate family.

I mean, who doesn’t want to celebrate one of the most important people in their life, to commemorate the day they were brought onto this earth, and immediately made all things better with their presence?

The day I was so excited to commemorate today was that of my sister’s birthday.

The day was cold and crisp, but the sun was glorious in its strict denial of taking on any Winter gloom. Perfect for her. The rays shone bright on her special day, just as her vibrant and uplifting presence fills those around her with constant joy and happiness.

There were select family and friends. A medium group, but one that knew each other well. Casual combo, sometimes serious, sometimes light, sometimes banter, most times shit-stirring. Food, plenty of cake, drinks and then the few ‘shots,’ a throwback to all the parties we used to down years before we had kids, when we’d go one, after one, after one, after one…

We’ll get to that stage again, I’m sure. This is my family after all.

And then the night ended happily, as is the norm, with baby girl and sister sharing a ride on the egg chair…

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Weee! they went! Round and round, ’til the movements grew slow, the hand went past midnight, and baby girl’s head leant against her aunty’s, eyes drooping as she still tried to watch her fave Explorer on Netflix.

And it was another great night, to celebrate an amazing woman in my life.

Happy Birthday big sis :*

#396 Bonding with the ‘Godfather’

Ooooh, scary huh. Just the way the words ‘Godfather’ seem to evoke images of a suited figure arising from the shadows, with his posse of dark assistants ready to ‘take care’ of your ‘requests.’

Nothing of the sort. Because we spent the most happy and leisurely of Sundays in our Godfather’s back yard, celebrating his sons 7th birthday party.

Although the entire sunny day was supreme in every way – in the way of hospitality, company, and just all-round good vibes and conversation, our Godfather took the time to repeatedly play and interact with baby girl, despite all the other guests he could have spent time with.

He kicked the footy around with her, letting her catch and throw it when her excited shrieks grew constant; he chased her around the fruit trees, in a kind of rugby-type game where she ran almost deliriously with the ball, just missing the important touchdown!; and he took her into the vegie patch, and gave her a ripe cucumber to take home, fresh and healthy from a home-made garden.

It was really beautiful to see, and more so when I saw the ease and relaxed nature with which he did it – he wasn’t rushing through the motions, or looking over his shoulder to look for a distraction to leave the scene. He played with all his heart, happily and repeatedly, with all the kids there, and I know from the beaming smile on her face, baby girl had a ball.

Baby girl had a ball, bonding with her Godfather 🙂

#395 Her Rock Star exit

We had been saying we were going to go home for over an hour. Of course, something would happen to prolong the stay.

A great song.

Cake.

Deep conversation.

Even dancing.

It kept getting put off, ’til finally, there was no more avoiding it.

“Baby girl, we’re going home.”

“No!” was her definitive reply, time and time again. First she cuddled up under a throw on the couch, watching TV. Then she asked for cake. Then she ran outside and into the makeshift dancefloor, to rip out some moves on what was the night of my cousin’s birthday get-together. A small gathering, but full of big vibes, nonetheless.

We knew we had to bite the bullet. We had to go home, and the longer we left it, the harder it would become to get her to comply.

Hubbie headed out into the yard amongst the throng of people, and grabbed a hold of baby girl, holding her high above his shoulders.

“Bye!” I prompted. “Say bye baby girl!”

And just like that, all the hands at the party flew up in the air waving to her, a chorus of byes echoing out, amidst the laughter and music of the party, and baby girl happily laughed and waved back. She could have been carried by the sea of hands back into the house, rather than up on Daddy’s arms, it was that scenic.

It was the only way for an attention-seeker such as herself to leave the party -with ALL eyes on her. However, because she was the only one of her generation there tonight, it really was all about her.

And I realised, that with my amazing and loving circle of extended family, they ALWAYS do so much to make baby girl happy, and make it about her. Their own kids are older now, but they treat baby girl with the love and light and fun that they did with their own.

They treat her like a rock star, not just when it comes to goodbyes, but ALL the time.

And that’s pretty spesh. That’s pretty awesome for our party girl 🙂

#386 The age of Innocence

Tonight, baby girl hugged and kissed a star lamp. How much more delightful can she possibly get, at age 3?

When she gets presents for an occasion, usually in bulk, like at Christmas, or her Birthday, it’s not too hard amongst the frenzy of new ‘things,’ to pop a gift or 7 away, for a later date.

I like to draw things out. I can see the insane joy in her face when I later take out her presents, all fresh and brand new and exciting, as it’s suddenly something interesting to play with. She has no idea it’s been sitting out of reach on the top drawer of her cupboard the whole time. The only thing she knows is “Oh! New toy!”

I can get away with it at this age.

She received this star lamp for Christmas. And because she had a little fairy lamp that we were using in the meantime, I popped the star one, you guessed it…

Her fairy lamp was going dim. I mean, I could have just changed the batteries, as I’ve done so many times before. But I needed an excuse to take out the star lamp, albeit another battery-operated one, but what the hell.

It looks a lot like this:

lamp

Only in red.

Hubbie and I put in some batteries and set it up in her room, and then as bedtime approached I asked “do you want a surprise?”

Of course a 3 year old wants a surprise at bed time. Stalling is what they excel at.

So we took her into her pitch-black room, I fumbled with the switch on the lamp, and

Ta-da! The room was alight with a warm glow from her new lamp.

She was rapt. She looked at it in admiration. She held it, carried it about. She hugged it, even doing her “awww” bit as if she were hugging a baby. She then kissed it.

She hugged and kissed her lamp.

And you know what? It was freaking adorable. It was beautiful. She is at such an innocent stage, so naïve to so many of life’s treasures, experiences, and discoveries, and it is precious. She is amazed and takes great joy in the smallest of things, and I find it inspirational.

She sees Nutella on the table during breakfast and exclaims “Oh!” before clapping excitedly.

She jumps up and down when we tell her we’re going to walk  to the park.

She hugs a friggin’ lamp because it’s red, it glows, and it’s a star.

How much more simple can you get? How beautiful life is, when things like this make you happy? When you appreciate them to the degree that they bring you irrepressible joy?

I hope to nurture those innocent qualities in her for as long as I can, for as long as she will let me.

In fact, I hope to keep it alive in me while I am at the task. I actually think this gratitude blog, is helping me to do that too…

 

 

 

#374 Reclaiming the past with Besties

Tonight, Bestie and her Hubbex came over to visit us in our new ‘hood.

It was a pretty rad night.

We have a pretty awesome history, us 4. I often wonder if the looks we get from other ‘friends’ are that of jealousy: I mean, bestie and I are of course, LONG-TIME besties, and when we get together, our Hubbies become equally as tight and crazy as us.

We were an integral part of their bridal party when they got married, which was right before I got pregnant with baby girl. It was an amazing day, and so special to be sharing it with them both, in such a close and intimate way.

But that was not the beginning, and it sure as hell won’t be the end. No. Our times together have many prior years and years on their wedding day… from after our high school years and through all of our twenties, birthdays and events, days out, dinner, catch-ups and plenty of laughter here, there and EVERYWHERE. I’m talking Hubbie and Hubbex jumping out of our semi-moving car after midnight singing “How Bizarre” at the top of their lungs on a Saturday night. I’m talking funny dress-ups, and stupid faces to the point that when we look back on them now, we laugh ourselves so silly that we do unintentional ab crunches from our laughter, our breath soundless and eyes all screwed up from the mad laughter that we are expressing.

I’m talking wine, I’m talking shots, and I’m talking plenty of D&Ms in-between. When I think of our long-standing history together, and think back through all of those years, I then realise how varied, vast and deep our friendship and experiences with one another are.

And generally speaking, I am proud of the maturity I’ve developed in response to the friendships and relationships in my life. Nothing remains static, stagnant. Things are ever-changing, and so too do many friendships take on a temporary ‘on hold’ spell, while life takes over, other things become more of a priority, and you move in different directions.

I love that quote, that says something like you know you have a true friend when you don’t always see each other, but when you get together it’s like no time has passed. Nothing is truer for this awesome-foursome.

Although all our lives are extremely busy, and we all have differing passions and interests and jobs that keep us entertained and out of trouble, we still make the time for each other, when we can. And tonight, while eating and drinking, listening to a whole variety of musicians and getting extremely excited over them, talking the deep philosophy of Beyoncé’s image, pruning roses, allowing baby girl to do multiple renditions of Let it Go, turning our staircase into ‘ice’ as she stamped down on the landing, and shooing off cats, we had a smashing time.

We have matured, we are older, and we have more responsibility present in our lives… but it is still us. And US, has still got IT.

Take care of your true friends, because it takes a long time to gain an ‘old friend.’ They are precious and much sought after.

After tonight, I think our future together looks just as happy/funny/silly/meaningful/profound/bright, as ever 🙂

 

#367 The calm after the Partays

Thursday was a full on day. Kinder for baby girl. My 5 hours ‘off,’ were actually crammed in with everything and anything I could think of.

We had visitors over that night, my cousins.

Friday night (yesterday) we had an engagement. I slept 4 hours. Got up to work today. Groggily.

We had a birthday on tonight. Drove to the other side of town. Drove back. I don’t know how many hours of sleep I’ll get tonight. I’m working tomorrow, again.

And although there is one more ‘task,’ to tick of my to-do list, that of work for the weekend, I sure am glad that the festivity part is over, at least for now.

Don’t get me wrong. I love heading out, getting dressed up, having fun, socialising, and watching baby girl thrive amidst it all.

But I haven’t stopped. I’m tired. I still need to work. We’re all getting under the weather.

We just need to stop and take a moment to breathe. In peace.

And so, I am hopeful, that finally the calm has come. And I’m so grateful for it.

#257 3 gals at the BIG park

We’re all about parks aren’t we? Today yes, we went to a park that I’ve been wanting to take baby girl to for a while now. Since my parents told me about the new one that had been built just a 5 minute walk down their street, I knew I had to go.

And today was the perfect opportunity. I was at my parents’ for my Mum’s actual birthday, and after a bite to eat, Mum, baby girl and I walked on over to check it out.

Baby girl screamed in delight when we turned the corner and it came into view. It was big, new and I was impressed with all the playground novelty. Immediately baby girl dragged me over to the see-saw to be flung into the air against my adult body.

It was short, but very, very sweet. It was exceptionally windy, overcast, with rain threatening to pour at any second. And it did start to drizzle while we were there, intermittently, cutting short our park trip. But it was fantastic. Watching my Mum and baby girl go down the slides side by side, baby girl dragging her onto the see-saw as well, the two of them running about the place… it was priceless.

It was not park weather. But I had the best company, which made the park visit absolutely perfect.

I am grateful to big parks with perfect company 🙂