Earlier this week, this little man turned 4……and this tiny girl turned 2!Should you ever have the chance to have babies with birthdays a mere day apart- I highly recommend it. Someday they will resent the shared spotlight, but that day is a long way off. For the moment, they just think it is incredibly exciting that they get to celebrate together and their parents think it is incredibly exciting that we get to consolidate parties. Figuring out a way to celebrate these two in the middle of a pandemic that prohibits social interaction was tricky. While Etta would accept whatever, Henry knows about birthday parties and has been really excited about his for quite some time. He is my extroverted boy, and while he has mostly accepted the pandemic restrictions, he misses his friends and really wanted them at his birthday. Plus, I wanted them there. Birthday parties for young children are partially for the kids, but also for their parents, a chance for us to gather with our community and celebrate that we are all doing this crazy kid thing alongside each other. And I still want that, even if life is not going as planned right now, a visual reminder of which is below, with Henry playing the role of 2020 and Etta representing ALL OF US. We spent the whole day on Memorial Day celebrating their birthday. I walked to the grocery to haul back those ridiculous balloons before they woke up and they were ecstatic. Late morning we had a drive-by birthday party with a bunch of his friends. We put a table with donuts and juice boxes on the sidewalk and a steady stream of cars came by with the friends and family that we miss so much right now. Our kids were in heaven. Henry spent the whole time running along the edge of the yard and yelling at all his crew… while Etta loved it from a distance and then opted to play in the car for awhile because she is our introverted soul. Their friends left signs, balloons, cards – so many little tokens that remind me that our community stays strong even when we can’t be together as frequently.
When the last car drove away, we packed the kids off to naps in a sugar haze. While they were sleeping, cupcakes from my brother and his wife showed up…… which was fantastic, as the cake I let the kids make was truly unappealing. Since we were trying to celebrate in a safe and sanitary way, we decided donuts that parents could serve to their kids were a better call than cake. Knowing that no one would really be partaking in this cake, I let the kids have full artistic control. They went crazy, using stale Christmas cookie decorating supplies and toy trains to create the pile of color and sugar that you see below. And they loved it. When we were talking with the kids about how to celebrate, Henry was adamant that he wanted to “marshmallow hotdogs” over a fire. I fully support both the use of marshmallow as a verb, and roasted hotdogs, so we ended the day with a family bonfire in the backyard. James’ brother rode up on his motorcycle that morning and gave Etta this stuffed animal and it has rarely left her side since. Highly recommend a fire pit for those of you in quarantine. Since we have spent a lot of time in our yard the past couple months with more to come, it has been such a fun treat. Behold, my babies and their cake. Henry was very concerned about Etta grabbing the flaming candles (rightfully so!) and so even though it may appear like he is shoving her away from their joint cake, I promise that his motives were pure. There are so many things I could say about these two and the past four and two years of them in our lives. I said a few things here and here, but it is so hard to sum up these two little lives and all they mean to me. Instead, I will just say that watching them celebrate their day together made me impossibly happy that they have each other. This pregnancy has been really hard for a number of reasons, and emotionally and physically I wouldn’t say I am always doing so great. But during our whole day of celebrating Henry and Etta, I kept on thinking, I am so glad I get to give them another sibling close in age. I am so glad that this duo will become a posse of three and that they are close enough in age to really enjoy each other. I am impossibly happy that our kids get to have each other.
Happy birthday Henry and Etta. You are each other’s best gift and the greatest gift to our family.