Well, I "think" I will love this blogging thing once I'm into it. It's now nearly a week past Gemma's birthday and I have finally found a moment to post about the event. How anyone does this everyday is beyond me!
Anyway, I can hardly believe this little gal is 4 years old. Four seems like a real "passage" birthday from baby and toddlerhood into the land of being a "big girl." Her physical features have changed, no physical needs are shfiting, her way of seeing the world is so much more complex. She's an amazing little fireball.
We have a picture taken six days after her birth, 4 years ago today, that sits here on my desk. It's one of Rowan holding her, with me supporting Gemma's head, so their faces are side-by-side. Rowan is wearing a big "proud sister" smile with her soul-ful blue eyes peering out at anyone viewing the picture. Gemma, with her tiny, apple-sized head and her little 3 lbs+ self, looks out with her intense and wise blue eyes. While each girl has made her growth in these last four years, their eyes still hold their soulfulness, wisdom and magic.
Gemma's birthday "celebration" (her term for her party..and it really does say it all) was pure magic. This little girl loves people and knows how to maneuver amongst them with an ease that still stuns me. While I can do it now and really enjoy it, extrovert that I am, I know I didn't have the awarness of how to do is so well as a small child. She amazes me with her social dextarity.
We held the celebration at a park in our neighborhood, one of our favorites with ancient trees that have seen many celebrations well before Gemma's time and will hopefully see many to come, a gazebo, perfect for a self-proclaimed princess and play structures extrordinaire.
By luck or fate, we had "live" entertainment for the festivities..and I don't mean the yellow jacket bees which seem quite unruley this year (they had the good graces to stay away on G's celebration day). Two performance groups were in the park that day, preparing for the Orton Park Festival, held this past weekend. One was Cycropia, an aerial dance troope (you can check them out at http://www.cycropia.org/) spectacular to watch and perfect for our acrobatic ballerina daughter. The other was a local band called The Reptil Palace Orchestra (http://beeftone.com/rpo/) which is like some wild East European/Balkan rock band..totally funky stuff. The lead singer and trumpet player was very pregnant a bit more than 4 years ago, when they were performing for a friend's 50th birthday and she was totally taken with meeting Gemma and seeing me dance with Gemma in the sling. So how awesome to have them providing "background" music during Gemma's celebration.
Gemma was torn about whether to make this a "drop and go" party, meaning that her friends would be dropped off by the parents for a pre-determined amount of time and Jani and I would be managing a multitude of energetic 4 and 5 year olds or whether this was to be a family party. She finally settled on "family stay", but then after the invites had gone out changed her mind. We had to work through many feelings on this one and were a bit nervous that she'd balk as everyone arrived, but the worries were for naught. She was in her glory. We were happy to have it be a big ole' gathering of the masses, as we adore the parents of Gemma's friends (most are long-term friends and chosen family). So the day was as much about Gemma's celebration as bearing witness to the wonderful connections amongst our adult and child friends.
Gemma's theme, Ariel. Of course, how could we have possible have a princess-feee event? Each attendee got to create a fun-foam crown to wear during the party. Us "wise-women" mothers and goddess mothers decided we would place jewels on our "third eye" points and we wore those rather then crowns. We all figured that given the intensity of our collective children, tapping into our inner third-eye wisdom would be a very smart move (-:
Rowan offered to do body art on any takers. She'd been practicing on all of us for weeks. I was quite thrilled to see several voluteers at her "station" receiving hand-done artistry on their faces, hands and arms.
A brother and siter team (teenager and pre-teen..children of a dear friend), ran the Ariel's Ocean Game. Despite the windy day, we'd manage to hang a sheet between two trees (aka the Ocean) with Angeliah and Isaac positioned behind. The little ones tossed a fishing line into the ocean to have the hook baited with prizes, including beanbag replicas of Ariel or the Starfish from Finding Nemo or a whale (how great it is to find a clearance sale of these little items last June!).
Next it was on to cake, fruit and the ever-popular goldfish crackers..what else would Ariel eat? Present-openning came next. Gemma was a very gracious recipent of her gifts, giving each guest a thank-you hug after opening the gift. My, my, my do her loved ones know her well. Gifts ranged from a Wisconsin cheerleaders outfit (we have season tickets to the Women's Volleyball games..POINT WISCONSIN), to a tinkerbelle outfit, pink fluffy stuff galore!!..the pink quotient went way up post birthday party!! The celebration drew to a close with the Ariel pinata and time to play on the playstructures.
We went out to diinner at Applebees because the thought of food prep after sucha busy day was more than I wanted to wrap my mnd around. Gemma was clear to inform the hostess that it was her celebration day and that she wanted the wait staff to sing for her. No problem with "this" child asking for what she wants. They were more than happy to oblige. She sat there with a huge grin on her face throughout the vocals.
We are truly blessed to have this lovely child and her wonderful big sister in our lives. As much as she can grey our hairs and frazzle our nerves with her firey spirit, I don't think I'd want it anyother way.
Happy Birthday G-Force!
Love, Mama D