So my baby is ten. I think I’ve said this before (what haven’t I?) but when Chloe was ten, she was like a mini-adult; mature and responsible enough to take care of Spencer and Neve basically on her own. In contrast, at the same age Neve is like our newborn who is snuggled and read to and spoiled. We are excited when she comes down in the mornings and fight over who gets to hold her first. The other kids just get a grunt and an up-nod. We happily sit upstairs and watch her put on gymnastics and dance shows for us, clapping and cheering. Dale rubs her forehead every night at bedtime. For the older kids, we just bellow at them from the basement: “Get to bed!” It’s a hard-knock life for those who weren’t lucky enough to be the last one pulled out of my body. I’m exaggerating slightly, but probably not as much as you think. We do love the older children equally, but somehow the youngest is always the baby (right, Jimmy?).
Anyway, our little treasure’s first decade of life was well celebrated. It started with a friends party on Saturday. Eleven of her friends came over for lunch (pinwheel sandwiches made with pink bread, veggies, fruit, and cream puffs), then we headed to Mordens Chocolates. The older two children have each had a birthday party there (see, we do love them the same) and it was always a hit. Each child gets a tray filled with candy, crackers, marshmallows, chips, pretzels, etc. and a tub of melted chocolate and can make whatever they want. There were some pretty original creations. The girls were pretty wild at our house, so I was kind of concerned that they’d be super crazy at Mordens. But the chocolate-making captured all of their attention for the full hour. The employees there are so great too – so relaxed and patient, even when five kids at a time are asking to have their tub of chocolate warmed up (it hardened after a while). Just like at Chloe and Spencer’s parties, I overheard things like, “I LOVE this place” and “This is by far the best party I’ve ever been to.” I can take no credit for that, but it does make me feel good.
Sunday morning, Neve quickly opened her gifts before Chloe left for her all-day swim instructor class. We gave her an American Girl doll. She’s wanted one for years, but I’ve resisted because the price tag is not for the faint of heart. Neve’s cousin Sarah kindly lent Neve her American Girl doll, Kaya, for the last couple of years, but Neve didn’t let herself get too attached because she knew she had to give her back eventually. Kaya is native American and comes dressed in traditional clothes. Yesterday, Neve said something like, “I loved Kaya but I felt like I was taking away her culture by dressing her in regular clothes.” So she is over the moon excited about her very own doll, who is named Grace. I’m hoping the doll phase carries on for a while. It feels way more wholesome to give her a doll rather than an iPod, even if the price difference is scant.
Neve has wanted to get her ears pierced for a long time, but we told her she had to wait until she was ten. She’s been counting down the years; however, as her tenth birthday came closer she started to waver because she was scared it would hurt too much. Yesterday she decided to go through with it, so off we went to Chatters (thanks for the recommendation, Darla). She was very brave and said it wasn’t as bad as she thought it would be. Chloe had hers done when she was five, and I regretted doing it so early. I felt much better this time; Neve was old enough to think it through and make her own decision. She is thrilled with her earrings and was very proud to show them off when her grandma, aunties, uncles, and cousins came over for birthday cake (trifle) last night. Dale and I are both so lucky to have awesome families that come and celebrate our kids and make them feel loved and special.
|Boston Pizza for dinner|
|I took about ten pictures of the bunch and this was the best one.|
After everyone left, I cut the rice krispy squares that I had made that afternoon into stars to send to school today. And THAT … finally … marks the end of an intense weekend of birthday celebrations. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t exhausted.
We love you, Neve! You’ve got flair and passion and you make our lives interesting. You are organized and love to have everything in your room arranged just so. You are bright and clever and kind and thoughtful and you care about your friends and family. You’re a good gymnast, dancer, piano player, and speller. I love it that you often tell us all how much you love us and this weekend you thanked us more than once for all the work we did to make your birthday special. You also said, “This was my best birthday ever!” which are pretty sweet words for a mama to hear.