Monday, October 19, 2015
The Day You Turned Five...
I always like having your party early, so the planning, prep, and clean up is all done by your real birthday so we can spend a day just celebrating you. This year was special, though, because your party was the Saturday before your big day and I talked daddy into taking most of Monday off so we could spend the whole day with you. I planned all my student visits and meetings for the rest of the week, and went to bed so excited Sunday night knowing we had nothing on the days' docket except to be with you. I knew just how to spend the day and filled it with all your favorite things.
We started the morning with birthday pancakes, a tradition that's become a signature on birthday mornings. You love cake, but you love pancakes more, and liked having another opportunity to make a wish and blow out five candles. You wished to see a ninja turtle "in the real". Mila watched you with the biggest eyes as you did the drill like an expert. We relighted one of the candles so she could try it out, too, and she followed your lead to a tee. She closed her little eyes, blew softly, and had the sweetest, most proud look on her face, enough to make these special occasions worth every second.
Daddy had an important appointment in the morning, so he took your sister to daycare for awhile so you and I could go to one of your favorite places - the movie theater. You were so excited on the way to the theater and jabbered the entire way there about, still talking about "pin the donkey on the tail" and jalapenos and such. :) We went to the 9:00 show of Hotel Transylvania 2, and we were the only ones there! You got a free ticket to the show, along with a free bag of popcorn, and we had the cozy little place all to ourselves. We could laugh as loud as we wanted, discuss whether we thought baby Dennis would cut his fangs by the end of the movie, and dance during the credits, which we did, of course. By the time the movie ended, Daddy was ready to meet us for a special birthday lunch to Toads, per your request!
Because it's a little hectic taking the two of you out to eat right now, we decided to let Mila eat her lunch at school to give you a little more time on your own. We colored pictures of Mickey Mouse, told Daddy all about the movie, and you ordered mini corn dogs, cottage cheese, and chocolate milk. Afterwards, Daddy took you to Wal-Mart for a little surprise of his own and I went to get your sister.
Mila helped me arrange all your presents in the living room and I lit some candles to make it feel cozy. You returned from the store with the Star Wars movie, pretty excited because Daddy let you play the racing arcade game before leaving the store. Since this has seemed to play out as the year of Star Wars, we think you are old enough to watch the movies with us, and we have big plans to spend a cold Sunday afternoon in front of the fireplace introducing you to The Force.
Next, you opened your presents up from us. You loved it all, but loved your Star Wars Millennium Falcon most. You asked us to put it together right away, and you and Mila played with Darth and Luke for awhile while Daddy got to work organizing your many new Lego sets.
The next few hours were probably my favorite of the whole day. Mila was sleepy and went down for a two hour nap, giving us the opportunity to do what you do best. You just wanted to play, and play we did. You and Daddy did Legos at the table while I made you hot cocoa and apple cider. We lit a fire and played Sorry. And we had chocolate chip cookies and felt so cozy inside while the wind whipped outside. The afternoon went slow and we had nowhere to go. It was perfect.
Soon, Mila woke up rested and happy and ready to join us for more birthday fun. We decided on Chuck E. Cheese's for dinner and again found ourselves to be one of the only families there at 5:00 on a Monday night. We got 40 tokens and took turns following you and Mila around, always seeming to land back at the plastic ball game we can all play together. You LOVED any game that involved driving a wheel or shooting some zombies and your sister rarely left the stomp dancing game or the dog bone game. Daddy and I found a Chuck E. Cheese pizza we actually liked (hello, mac and cheese!), and you and Mila were happy campers with bracelets and slinkies of every color claimed as your prize.
We spent the rest of your birthday night snuggling up on the couch. You and Mila were so cute with each other and the Cubs went 2-1 over the Cardinals. Then, I stole you away to tuck you in and read you a few of your new books. We read Tap the Brightest Star and started your new Jesus Storybook Bible. And as I read the wonderful introduction, an introduction that explains that "no, the Bible isn't a book of rules, or a book of heroes, but most of all a story, the story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them," I felt your body get heavy next to mine and your breaths get slow and deep. You woke up four and went to bed five, and I laid there next to you with tears in my eyes as I remembered our very first night together in the hospital. There is no greater joy in this world than being your mommy, and I am so very thankful God gave me you.
"It takes the whole Bible to tell this story. And at the center of the story, there is a baby. Every story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing pieces in a puzzle - the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you see a beautiful picture. And this is no ordinary baby. This is the Child upon whom everything would depend. This is the Child who would one day - but wait. Our story starts where all good stories start. Right at the very beginning..."
What a story to read on the night of your fifth birthday, as I reflected on you as my first baby, and the stories that have become our fabric these past five years. What a beautiful picture that is when you compare it to the greater story of the one who created it all. So thankful for a big God who loves his children and gives us immeasurably more than we ever deserve.
I am so thankful for this day, and so very thankful for you. I can't wait to see the stories that make up year five. Love you!