And like most parents in my position, I am shaking my head in disbelief that it has already been 7 years. Nevertheless, the fact is born in Xideka herself as she runs and flies and dances and reads and zooms around on a scooter and rides solo on a carousel pony…
High Points of the Birthday Celebration according to Xi: the dozen pink roses, the bike parade (she rode in the bike trailer pictured above), the cake (an amazing three-tiered heart cake that Natalie made), seeing a snake during the riverside party, and the playing she did with her sisters and friends. Natalie and I liked that we pulled off all the things Xi had hoped to have for her birthday: the bike parade, the three separate locations, the cake, and all the accoutrements. And that because our girls know we share all the toys in our home, Bella and Echo were pleased and excited about the gifts Xideka opened, rather than envious and upset. We also liked how our village joined in, and all the ways each family and person did so — including trekking along the river to find Location Three, and/or riding along with us in the bike parade, and/or waiting while some of us did one last round on the carousel, and honouring our sweet Xi with presence and kindness…
Here’s what it looked like:
We met some friends and had watermelon. The girls each opened a gift to kick off the celebration, and then immediately got involved playing. At one point, our little friend Elliott got to take over for Echo for a bit, and played faeries with Bella and Xi. Lucky.
After awhile, we bike-paraded the four blocks to the next spot on our itinerary.
For some strange reason, it was open-season at the carousel. We go there quite regularly, and I’ve never seen the line there so long. In fact, the line was so long, they had to divert people out the door and back in the other door to make room for everyone. We enjoyed a few rides, but had to move along before we got as many as we would have liked… Location Three required a rendez-vous and we didn’t want to keep our fellow celebrators waiting.
We biked from the carousel along the river and over the pedestrian bridge to our favorite river bank to meet the rest of our friends. We hung out, swam, ate cake, played chase, and floated at short distance in the river as one giant kid-tubey-parent mass (surely visible from space). Xi opened more gifts. Another unrelated group of tube-floaters drifted by at one point, and noting what we were up to, they sang an impromptu Happy Birthday in unison that rang out across the river including a mumbled, “…Happy Birthday Dear Hrmhrmmm…”
What a delicious day. What a way to celebrate this girl we love so much. What a gift she has in the people surrounding her when she blew out the 7 candle.