Tuesday, September 11, 2012
It was a good day. We celebrated Nora's second birthday.
Up until yesterday, we weren't sure what our plans were for today. Last year, Nora's birthday was on a Sunday, so there wasn't any question that we'd be with her, but with it being a Tuesday this year, we didn't know exactly what to do. Send her to daycare as usual and go to work? Take the day off to spend with her? Half and half?
Ultimately, we made the decision to stay home with her and I am SO GLAD we did. Once we got her out of bed this morning, I knew in my heart that if I had to drop her off at daycare today, I would've felt terrible about it. In retrospect, I don't know why I even considered going to work!
So we made the day special.
We started by going out to breakfast together, and ordered Nora her own gigantic pancake. We brought a couple of candles with us.
We bought Nora a playhouse for our backyard back in June--which was our early birthday present to her--but yesterday, we realized that because her party isn't until Saturday, she wouldn't have anything to open on her birthday. To fix that, we made a quick run through the toy aisle at Walmart and got her a couple of little things. Hey, we couldn't resist. :)
So when we got home from breakfast we let her open one of her presents.
We moved into her playroom to play and she made a complete mess of it. She pulled all of her books off the shelves, and "read" by herself quietly. I tried to get her to sit with me to read a few books and she FREAKED OUT. Miss Independent strikes again. She just wants to do everything herself.
After a nap, we got her up and ready to make her first-ever trip to the zoo. We figured that since she enjoyed the aquarium in Boston so much, she would likely get a kick out of the animals at the zoo.
We were right. First stop was with the monkeys, and she was LOVING it.
In other words, although challenging at times, there are so many reasons why this age is awesome. :)
On our way home, we stopped into the grocery store for Nora to pick out a special treat for dessert. I am making a cake for her for Saturday, so I didn't make one for today. She picked out a very patriotic cookie. You'll see. :)
Back at the house, Michael played and colored with Nora while I made her birthday dinner--quinoa and cheese!
Nora also chowed down on some corn on the cob, and then it was the moment she had been waiting for... cookie time.
At bedtime, we will typically read her a few books with her in our laps, then turn her around to snuggle with us. Tonight, as I read, she suddenly turned around in my lap to snuggle in and rest her head on my shoulder. She was tired; this was her way of telling me to stop reading, she just wanted to go to bed. :) I took that as a sign that she had a good day.
Despite my best efforts to be strong, I got choked up as I put her into her crib. I held her against me and felt the weight and size of her body, remembering how much lighter and smaller it was last year, and imagining how much bigger and heavier it will be a year from now.
It is so bittersweet that they have to grow up.
On another note... I wrote a post last year about what it is like to have a child born on 9/11. I point you back in that direction now, in case you've never read it. It's a post that I'm particularly proud of because it is so important to me.
People want to reflect and be sad and remember those America lost on 9/11/01. I get that, and I know how important that is. The events of that day were undeniably horrible and tragic. I understand that people don't ever want to forget. I don't ever want to forget. But now that I have the perspective that I do, I just try to urge people to remember that there are things on 9/11 that are worth celebrating. The stigma that some attach to the date is unfair.
Since last year, we've had a few experiences during which someone has found out Nora's birth date and made awful comments to us about it. And every time, I just think to myself--that is my daughter's birthday you're talking about. Would you want someone to say something like that to you about your birthday? I wish people would instead think before they speak. Truly, my wish for everyone is to have a reason to celebrate on 9/11. It doesn't make what happened go away--it doesn't make us forget--but to have something positive to focus on is a blessing.
And now I shall digress for another year. :)
Happy Birthday to my sweet, sweet girl. I love you more than ever.