I can’t write about the oldest turning 10 without the writing about the youngest turning five.
When my oldest was turning five, her one birthday wish was not to have her sister be born on her birthday, and have to share her birthday. My due date WAS on her birthday after all. But I willed that little girl to come a week late so no one has to share a birthday. One gets the week before and the other gets the birthday week after that.
That’s why October is all about birthdays. Because for two weeks we celebrate the big and the little, turning older. With banners, photos of when they were little, cake, birthday hats, numbered chair covers and Waldorf style birthday ring candles being lit (several times and blown out). All because, you only turn five once. And FIVE is big!
This year her birthday fell on fall break. On Friday she celebrated at school. On Tuesday we partied at home on her birthday. On Thursday she wore her official 5 shirt to school because she wasn’t officially five until 11:45 on her birthday. She told one teacher at school she couldn’t wear her five shirt to school Friday becuase, “I wasn’t officially five until midnight.”
Yes my girls know all about their birth stories and exactly where babies come from. I’m kind of obsessed.
For Five we planned a backyard fairy party that got rained out. This year I did not make the watercolor invitations wrapped around a stick and hand delivered that I wanted to make, from a picture perfect book idea. We were not picture perfect at all. I texted the parents at school and neighborhood moms to come one and come all, for a fall soup, and backyard fairy party which I envisioned beautifully out of a kids natural party book.
And then it rained for four days. So I cleaned out the basement and prepared for my house to be ransacked by 15 five-year-olds.
I cooked for four hours. I was exhausted and trying to not be nervous that it was going to be complete mayhem with neighbors up to 10 houses away hearing all the little girl squeals coming from our house.
Remember the last post where I told you I was doing lots of yoga these days? The entire weekend before this second party, I spent at a workshop on backbends and inversions. It turned my world upside down. Literally. In the mist of cooking, party prep and my girls being home from school – I found calm in doing headstands in my kitchen. That’s right. Right in my kitchen. And let me tell you – it’s WAY better than coffee.
Come 5:00, all the five-year-olds started showing up (despite the fact I thought I had told people 5:30 -oops). We had face painting, lots of running around the house, lots of mac and cheese for dinner, cake, presents, lots of glitter making glitter pumpkins (parents thought I was brave) and the only thing fairy was the decorations, and the ribbon wands and flower crowns we gave the guests.
But it was perfectly five! It was not fancy. It was not mayhem, but almost. The parents DID have fun. We DID have wine (five bottles actually) and we were all glad it was fall break and there was no school the next day.
We balanced the fun, the prep and the joy of honoring a girl who turned five. I love a party on the actual day of a birthday. But there is a balance to not get overwhelmed in the action and forget the reason of it all. So I made sure I stopped, took time to stand on my head, and kiss the birthday girl 582 times.
And that is exactly what FIVE looks like for this crazy girl. Love her to pieces. 582 over again, and again.