It’s true. Our littlest little bird is actually four now… (?!) I heard her playing alone in the loft this morning, with all the fanfare and celebration of her birthday passed, and she stopped at one point and mentioned to herself almost in passing, “I’m four now. I can’t believe I’m actually four.” None of us were quite ready for such a revelation, but reveal it did; and so, even in our disbelief, we celebrated Echo’s birthday yesterday in our sweet down-home style. Here’s a couple dozen moments from our magnificent day.
Bella and Xi woke before Echo and prepared a little “coming down the stairs birthday good morning”. Throughout the day (and as is often the case) I was so moved by their tender care for Echo, their readiness to empathize with her both in moments of turmoil and joy, and their willingness to assist her in every way.
There was someone else waiting to greet Echo first thing in the morning, too.
Or should I say someone else was sleeping on the breakfast table… Yes, after a few weeks of mourning over Vanilla, and much deliberation, we decided to get another hamster; thus making Echo’s birthday a success for her, even before it got passed the first meal of the day.
Though she did “struggle” with the effort of naming the new family member. I believe we have since settled on Sugar… Kind of nice relation to Vanilla, I thought.
Echo opened a couple of presents first thing in the morning, as well.
And much to all of our surprise (as is often the case with gifts from Grandpop Michael), Echo was instantly out-fitted with a new three-wheeled scooter, helmet and elbow pads. She did a couple of quick laps around the house, and before you could say “Totally Awesome!” she was hitting the open road.
Just the day before, Echo was running along as Bella and Xi went around the block, having such a marvelous time and wishing she could “ride with them”. Obviously, this girl has no trouble manifesting what she wants…
The celebration continued to pick up festive momentum from there. Shortly after that inaugural scooter ride, friends began arriving and the birthday party started rolling.
There was swinging…
(well flying, really),
and lazy, tandem rides.
I really liked the gifts, too (which as the parent is not always the case, right?), and was really glad to see the cards and things the kids made, and the various gifts the different families and individuals brought to honour and celebrate this girl. Our little village knows our girls and loves them in much the same ways that we do, and that feels pretty incredibly delicious.
There was also the decorative hair treatment Echo got from one of her “other big sisters”. Mom had given her birthday braids already, so Jaedyn added some pipe-cleaner accents. Echo felt pretty special getting the focused attention from one of Bella’s favorite humans.
Then there was the cake and song. Kris (on the far left) and I looked at each other when the song began, both marveling over the size of our collective sound. We should hire ourselves out — I’d wager few of you have ever heard such an enthusiastic and well-projected birthday song…
There were goody bags, too, that all the kids got to take away with them. They had a curly straw, a bouncy ball, an origami animal puppet on a stick (that Natalie made), and an apple. I couldn’t believe it when several of the kids were clambering for the apples like they were the greatest things ever… You never can tell what it’s going to be, huh?
And here’s another (closer) look at the latest magnificent addition to Natalie’s Cake Hall of Amazingness…Chocolate cake, with strawberry filling and salty caramel frosting, by request. Dang, that woman is one serious cake-maker.
Well now she’s four. Believe it or not. I just hope the next four years are as much (or even more!) fun.
Thanks to our village for celebrating this girl with us. And thanks to Romy for providing most of the photos you see here. And thanks to you, for letting me share it.