Wednesday, October 29, 2014


It was the perfect day to turn three.

Miss Elle has been longing for her "berfday" since Alvin's party in June.  She was suddenly struck with the full force of realization that everyone has a birthday.  Birthdays mean cake and presents and a whole day dedicated to YOU!  And she was ready to experience one for herself.  (The poor dear doesn't remember her super special First Birthday, sniff)

But first it was Alvin's special day.

The next month was all about  Dee.

We celebrated Cy the month after that.

And all the while, Ell would plaintively query "When's my berfday?  I want a pink cake and a pink dress and a pink house on my berfday!  In Octobuh!"  The poor girl has no idea when or what October is, but she is sure it will be pink.  And it will be all about her.

And she would be correct.

Finally the day arrived.  October 24th.  Maybe it's because she is my first girl.  Maybe it's because after a three month rash of boyish birthdays to commemorate, September is gloriously quiet.  Maybe it's because this day will always hold a double significance as the day God spared my life so I can continue to be a mother to my small brood.  Maybe it's because Thanksgiving is in the air.  Whatever the cause, October 24th finds me ready to seriously party!

I have this  thing with Cinderella.  It started back as a toddler, watching the old VHS tape my grandma had recorded off the Disney Channel.  I loved the mice and the Bippidy, Boppidy Boo song.  I loved the pumpkins and the fairy dust that sparkled everywhere.  Then I grew into a wild, heathenish tomboy that scoffed at such foo-foo frippery.  My inner princess lay forgotten and neglected for the next 25 years. 

Until Elle was laid in my arms. 

She is my princess.

So, guess the theme for her first birthday . . .

It's like Cinderella just grabbed a hold of my shopping cart and started throwing Disney licensed merchandise in.  We had printed plates, and napkins and a printed tablecloth.  Never in my life had I bought licensed merchandise to wipe my mouth on.  But I N.E.E.D.E.D. those sparkly napkins!  And let me tell you about my Pumpkin Votive Candelabra!  It's gorgeous.  That is all. 

There had been a serious Cinderella Void in my life and I was just now recognizing it.

So, Elle's first birthday was a Cinderella-palooza.  So what?  I'm not going to have favorites here.  Every child deserves a super special first birthday with printed napkins (even though the boys never got that, shh!).  That doesn't mean I'll do something that elaborate every year.  I managed to keep myself in check for her second birthday.  I don't even remember what I did for her second birthday, that's how lazy sane and sensible I was.

It was the first of October and her much anticipated third birthday was looming.  I wasn't quite sure how to best celebrate.  I figured I'd bake a strawberry cake and invite a few friends and family over.  But what's this in the mail box?  A flyer advertising the Tulsa Opera's production of Cinderella?  Playing on Elle's very own birthday?  I was a goner already . . .

Rob had already made plans to go camping with friends on that day.  (No stressing over planning the perfect birthday for him!)  He was sad to not get to take his princess to her very first opera, but he managed to survive, strangely enough.  There was nothing left for me to do but to find a suitable dress for Senorita Elle.

I found this dress at Toy's R Us.  When she tried it on, her whole face sparkled.  She knew this was THE dress.  Everything about it made her feel princess-y.  As for me, all those repressed girly notions from my tomboy days came flooding back.  I totally understand how moms can get so caught up in making sure their daughters have their own dream wedding.  I had better get all this out of my system now . . .

Since I now had one extra ticket I called up my good friend, Lisa, and asked her to come with us.  She had never been to an opera before and was really excited to go.  She sparkled too.  There is an inner Cinderella in all of us, I'm telling ya.

Seven thirty finally arrived.  We were seated, the lights dimmed, the first haunting note of the oboe sounded out, long and clear.  The orchestra tuning up always gives me goosebumps.  Then came the National Anthem.  A full house standing and singing at the top of their operatic lungs always gives my goosebumps goosebumps.  At last, the overture over and the curtain drawn, Cinderella is dutifully scrubbing whilst singing.  The evil stepsisters are prancing and cavorting across the stage.  The audience is under their spell, not a whisper or rustle is to be heard.  Save for the three year old diva beside me who demands to know, "When is it my turn to dance up there?"  She did not whisper.

All in all, it was a magical evening.  The night ended as all good fairy tales should, with fairy dust and a kiss.  And Taco Bell.  Most fairy tale books leave Taco Bell out of it.  Holding a princess with a real, live hoop skirt in one's lap for two hours will make one excruciatingly hungry.  The best remedy is a Chalupa Supreme.

The next day we had our pink cake party with a few friends that happen to be family. 

Happy Birthday, Miss Elle!  I hope you have enough happy memories to last you until your next berfday.  It's not until next Octobuh, you know.

Next up, Ana . . . I'm thinking February is the perfect month for a Frozen party.

 I wonder if they have any napkins for that?

P.S. I am excited to announce my new Facebook page.  I'm finally beginning to feel like a real writer now!  You can find me on Facebook under Chores Of Opportunity.