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March 14, 2012 - Betsy Bethel
Save the writing of the thank-you notes, birthday madness is over for another year. I sure hope my daughter remembers all the fun she had!
Birthdays are a big deal in my family. My husband teases that I celebrate my own birthday for a fortnight. I beg to differ. It's more like a month!
But I mean, what better day to celebrate than the day you were born? I admit I tend to go overboard for Emma's birthday every year. I just hope she doesn't end up like Dudley Dursley, pitching a fit because she only got 36 presents when "Last year, last year there were 37!"
Emma's sixth anniversary celebration of the day she was born started with a trip to Disney on Ice in Pittsburgh when her friend Elliot gave her her first birthday present of the year — a penguin exhibit for her Playmobil zoo. Fast-forward one week for a trip to the indoor water park at Cherry Valley Lodge in Newark/Granville, Ohio — an excursion we have been promising her for three years, since the last time we were there. We frolicked through water spouts, shot down water slides, paddled along the lazy river (a misnomer if I ever heard one — there's nothing lazy about streams of kicking, splashing children racing along a circuitous route like so many Lightning McQueens!). We arrived at seven and it closed at nine, which is one hour longer than I would have liked, but I swear Emma's smile never waned from the minute we hit the parking lot to the minute she fell asleep on the way home.
The water park kicked off Emma's birthday weekend on Friday. Saturday brought her family party, complete with cousins, aunts, uncles, two grandmas and DeFelice pizza — her favorite — with make-your-own sundaes for dessert. Sunday, it was her friends' turn to join the party, as we hosted her classmates at the SMART Centre Market, where OUR friends Robert and Libby Strong put on an "under the sea"-themed program that kept the tykes busy prior to the cake and ice cream frenzy. I had Dianna's Cakes and Catering make a cake with two of "The Octonauts" on it — check out the link (at right) for more on Emma's favorite TV flavor of the month. The SMART Centre Market is a SMART choice for a birthday party — more on that topic in my next blog.
Finally, Monday closed out Season Six with two events — brownies and gifts from my co-workers at the office and a visit to Grandpa and Mima in St. Clairsville, where Emma was presented with her favorite gift of all, a Razor Rip Rider 360, purchased for a song at auction. (It beat out the pink bean bag from Grandma, but only by a hair.)
Yes, I know, there is something to be said for simpler celebrations. But I can tell you that I only remember three of my childhood birthdays, and they were all years we did something special — the circus with two friends when I was 6, a "friend" party at our house when I was 9, and a sleepover when I was 12. I have absolutely zero recollection of any other year.
Did we overdo it this year? Probably. We all lost sleep and our bank account took a heavy hit. And sometimes, like on the long drive to Newark, I wondered to myself, why exactly am I celebrating something that I really don't even want to acknowledge — my daughter growing another year older!?
Would I do it all over again? Probably. But thank goodness it's not for another year!
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Emma with her Octonauts cake