Sunday, August 12, 2012

Low-Key Six

You might already know this, but we have a unique way of celebrating birthdays around here. I like to think of it as charming and throw-back.

Throw-back to when? I don't know. Pioneer days?

I'm just not much of a party-thrower. Which is weird, because I really like to throw parties. I'm all about hosting the impromptu gathering. I think the key word is impromptu, which birthdays never are.

When required to plan ahead, I revolt. The result is off-beat and relaxed. Or at least that's what I tell myself.

Sidenote: I once "hosted" an ice cream sundae bash and no one showed up. Nada personas. (And yes, I'm brushing up on my Espanol. You noticed?)

But what I will do is slap up some decorations the night before. Then, when the birthday girl and her brothers wake up, I'll let them eat cups of dry cereal in front of the TV while Mommy and Daddy rest for another hour while intermittently breaking up squabbles and shouting out random Silas checks with our eyes closed.

They will think it's the best thing since Christmas.

God bless Saturday mornings.

When the dry cereal will no longer cut it, I'll make cinnamon French toast with peaches. Also, bacon.

Sidenote: Are you tired of me taking these awful pictures of my food? Do you wish I remember before I dive in, thus eliminating the need for artful cropping?

Me, too.

The birthday girl's wish was putt-putt golfing.

I'm not even gonna say who got 4 holes-in-one. (Hole-in-ones? Holes-in-one?)

Though sadly, "she" still didn't win, because "he" proved to be a much more consistent mini golfer, ending just one over par. Creep.

Calvin told me to stop being a braggy winner. And I didn't even win. I mean "she" didn't win...

And now, a word on the Silas: He's exhausting, man. He rolls in peaks and valleys and we're all valley these days. Dude did not appreciate the fake golf club at. all. He knows when he's being taken for a child.

We headed home after golfing and ice cream, all tired out and emotionally drained on account of the above-mentioned rogue faux golfer. We had big plans to stay in for the rest of the night and survive until bedtime. It was all we could muster.

And then! A gem of a gift. Silas was invited to accompany his Papa to see Great Grandma Polly.

We had no choice but to go on out for dinner. Rubes picked Olive Garden (after some strategic suggestions) because, "They have the goodest macaroni and cheese!"

Reality being what it is, it has become increasingly important for us to balance including Silas in our fun and letting him go have a different kind of fun, with someone who is not us. 

Our love for him is unwavering, but small breaks are healthy for all of us, especially Calvin and Ruby, who still bear the fuzzy memory of how serene life used to be around here. These little breaks give us a chance to really focus on them, listen to them. An evening without drama and angst? Sign me up. Any time. 

A dear friend in a similar situation helped me see that it's not a bad thing to do this. It doesn't mean our love for him is any less. It just means that he's at a stage in life that may take us all down if we're not careful.

So now, here I am, passing the advice on to you.


Here's Miss Six. Have you ever seen a lovelier girl?

Me, either.

She's emotional and affectionate. She's a giver and a lover. She makes friends easily, she's not afraid to try something new. She hates bugs and she loves flipping on the monkey bars and riding Buck the horse. She's a treasure, and I'm not the only one who thinks so.

As proof of her awesomeness, she fashioned a scarf from a scrap of the dining room curtains just before we left for dinner. Love that.

Sidenote:  A certain person in our family turned out for church this morning in this. I almost fainted dead away. From the time "he" was two, "he" would not allow me to layer him up. He even resisted basic matching assistance. "He" was all sports gear, all the time. And usually a little deranged looking. But just ever so slightly.

Over time, "his" style grew on me. It just became an extension of "him", and I'm quite fond of "him".

Never in my life have I tried to steer "him" into something so smack-down fantastic. I wouldn't have dared.

I can honestly say that as a mom, I have never, ever been prouder. Because at the end of the day, what's more important than layering? Let's say it together: "Nothing!"

The rest of our today included ballerina cupcakes at Nana's house. The boy cousins were all disarmingly supportive of the ballerinas. It really took me off guard. 

And just to prove that I'm still evolving, I made homemade cream cheese frosting for the Betty Crocker lemon cupcakes. Impressive, no?


Really, no???

 That's how we roll around here. We rock the box mix. We buy toppers from TJ Maxx, decorations from Odd Lots, and we call it a day. We call it a very, very good day.

Happy Birthday, Ruby River. You make our life pinker and brighter and you teach us every day.