Where as I love to extend my birthday over several days and I prefer a celebrations that incorporate my favorite things: loved ones, cocktails, good food and the outdoors. I used to apologize for this but as I get older I'm comfortable with my requests and it's not like I'm asking for presents or anything.
Back to the question of who really needs the celebration: parents or kids?
Last year, Ingrid had no idea what was happening. She was excited to look at new books, dresses and toys. You could sense her happiness as family and friends surrounded for the afternoon. In true skeptical Ingrid fashion, she didn't dive right into her cupcake. She studied it carefully and eventually nibbled at her first baked good. We like to think that she's hesitant to try new things until she knows the outcome. She didn't take her first steps until she was able to put one wobbly first in front of the other.
A year later, someone has delivered us a fully-grown toddler who's capable of walking, running and faux-jumping (jumping with both feet firmly planted on the ground). She's got this incredible raw honesty that will stop you in your tracks. She'll deliver a firm "No. No I don't." if she's not in the mood to snuggle, take a bath or drink water. The snuggle-no always hurts but, sometimes a girl just needs her space.
There is still so much babyness to her: the plump tummy, inability to dress herself completely, or walk long distances. She speaks in full sentences but words are misunderstood. She gets the idea of a time-out and sometimes talks herself out of her "time-out worthy" behavior.
When reflecting on her growth and milestones, it's hard given that the past 12 months welcomed so many small changes but when compounded, it's a world of difference between one and two. Here's what I love about Ingrid - as a baby, at one and today:
- Thinks that dresses are pretty
- Loves dairy
- Loves meat
- Loves adventures (aka, errands)
- Balloons are amazing
- Loves books
- Loves the outdoors
Did I even address the question I gave myself of "who needs a birthday celebration - the parents or kids?"
My thoughts (since you won't stop asking): she'll go through two to three decades of thinking and knowing that birthdays are all about her. When and if she ever has babies she'll (hopefully) understand that it's a pretty special day for us parents too. The moment of going from who you've always known yourself to be to a mom is pretty memorable. It's scary, life-altering, surreal and will warm your heart beyond imagine. Mostly it's really scary.
Even though we're keeping it simple this year - candles in French toast for breakfast this morning, one present (doll house) and dinner at Red Robin (fancy!) tonight - it's a really special day for our family. Ingrid knows that because she gets extra sugar today and really, when you're two, that's a rad day. Or when you're 29.