Sloane turned 3 this past week! The past two years we had celebrated her birthday with just family, but this past year she was acutely aware of 'her friends', had attended friends' parties and was particularly excited about the idea of having her own, so we had ourselves a little birthday party.
We kept things simple, the main objective being a table with little friends gathered around a birthday cake, singing happy birthday. We also had read aloud time, because Sloane could sit for hours being read to, the cake was ice cream because Sloane requested it, and the cake was surrounded by animal figurines because she loves all sorts of animals these days.
It was so much fun to talk about the upcoming party with her - to discuss friends that would come, to talk about the cake, to get excited about everyone singing the happy birthday song together. I worry sometimes about raising a kid who takes things for granted, and want to teach her how to be gracious, generous and compassionate, so it made me feel proud to see her get serious about handing out party hats to friends, and tell me that she wanted to make sure everyone got a balloon. She seems to understand that birthdays are special and that special things are that way because they come around only once in a while. I'm sure she felt special that day, and the day before as we celebrated with family, and I'm so glad for it.
I had this moment during the party of taking stock of the munchkins gathered around and feeling gushes of gratitude for them and their parents that are walking alongside us in this whole adventure of parenthood. Celebrating these milestones is a precious reminder that this life is so much better lived together with others.
Plus, it's a great excuse for ice cream cake.