Well, as many of you likely already know, our little baby Echo turned 5 this passed week. I just can’t figure out how I could have been watching her everyday so intensely, and practicing mindful presence in so many of the moments I have with her, and still have it all fly by so stealthily and so fast. It boggles the mind…
For each birthday, and often for other holiday events as well, we decorate a little wire tree with pictures (in the case of birthdays) and decorations. I want to call your attention to Echo’s 1 year-old picture, look at that chubby buddha… Also, the picture to the left of that is 2 year-old Echo (on the right side of the green-bordered photo) sitting beside Larkin and Salome (some bosom buds). Above that one, is one of the pictures I love most of this child — this is Echo as Princess Amidala. In the back ground, you can see the Succulent Planter she dazzled over in Ace Hardware Store, and the card Natalie created for her.
This is the look Echo gave Natalie when it was announced that we’d given her the garden plot she’d requested for her birthday.
Here, Echo has one of the new kid tools, and is ready to go to work planting the flowers and seeds she got for the new garden plot (there with the little green enclosure behind Echo).
We planted Pansies, Johnny Jump-ups, Carrots, Beans, and Peas. Afterward, Echo was telling Mama all the things she learned about roots, and planting starters in the garden.
As anyone who has followed this blog knows by now, Natalie makes amazing cakes. This birthday, Echo got 5 layers of Vanilla cake, with Black Raspberry filling, under a Salty-Caramel Buttercream Frosting… with Lilacs and Lovebirds to boot.
Remember the 2 year-old picture from the birthday tree above, with Echo sitting by Larking and Salome? Well, that’s Larkin by the window, and Salome at Echo’s elbow (and below). Those two, and Elliott between them, have been Echo’s friends since her beginning, and I am so glad that they’ve had each other that whole time.
Echo is opening a special necklace she’d adored and Xi purchased for her in secret.
Xi got a lot of pleasure out of being a birthday helper, with shopping, and decorating, etc..
I think that, here, Elliott is just helping Echo with a card from her Great-Aunt Barbara, but it reminds of the “open mine, open mine!” thing that all the kids do in this sort of situation. I find that such an interesting window into the human psyche…
Natalie and Echo developed this marvelous idea for us to have a Bouncy-Ball Hunt in the yard during the party. Every kid had 6 balls hidden in the yard with his or her initials on them for the kid to find. They all not only seemed to feel especially comfortable that they could search at their individual paces, and all still get the same amount of loot, so to speak; but also ended up assisting each other rather than competing. Elliott’s little sister Sascha came running by me at one point and heard me say, “everybody wins”; and a minute later after discovering another ball for herself, she came running back by shouting, “Everybody wins, Papa Naphin!!”.
Her 4th year was a pretty amazing one for Echo. I can’t help but think what wonders 5 must have in store for her… I know that I, for one, don’t want to miss a thing.