Love and light

D turns 3 tomorrow, and today was his party, and it was completely fantastic. I wrote him his birthday card just now, continuing a tradition my parents established of writing a summary of the year, to keep as a record of childhood. Oomph it’s been a bit of a year! New baby, obviously, then the worry about D’s health, then having the tonsils out and the horrible horrible weeks of recovery, then applying for a new job, getting the new job, going back to work, settling into new routines, and D moving up into the preschool room at creche. Big year! Many changes!

The party was golden. The weather came out for us just in time, and we were able to have it at the local park as planned. It was a sort of easy lovely chaos. We had decided to invite everyone, have it at the park, rather than keeping numbers down for our not-large house. Some people couldn’t make it, so it wasn’t going to be huge anyway. But yesterday it rained, eeek! Then today, it cleared, and was the sunniest bluest afternoon with barely any wind. We had a mix of D’s little friends from our antenatal group, his creche, and our playgroup. My parents and my brother were on hand to help with the host duties, and we rounded out the adult numbers with some family friends who have honorary Auntie status. The main activity was waterballoons – D’s request for his party. Hundreds and hundreds of waterballoons, that’s what he wanted, and it’s so cool that for a child this age their desires can be easily fulfilled. Waterballoons and cupcakes, those were his requests. The kids had a wonderful time throwing waterballoons at each other, throwing them on the ground, jumping on them, throwing them in the air. Three is joy, three is discovery, three is knowing the world well enough to delight in the unexpected and the special.

The party came together in a beautiful low-key way. D was in a lovely mood. B was chilled out, and at 11 months he is keen to join in, and looked so chuffed with himself when he was able to clap with the rest of us after we sang “happy birthday”. It was a perfect, no stress afternoon. Idyllic. We had lost the sunblock but I found it in time. We made it to the park with all the party gear before people arrived. We had enough iceblocks for all the children towards the end of the party when everyone was too hot. There was plenty of food and my idea of pancakes with sprinkles was a hit with the kids. All the parents seemed on board with the unstructured style of party. My brother did facepainting for the kids, and they ran around as tigers and butterflies. D wanted to be Simba but then changed his mind, so continued the party as a smudgy incomplete lion.

It felt like the start of the golden weather. The eldest child turning three, and in a short month the youngest turning one, both really big milestones! Being pregnant is more or less ugh, the first seven or eight months of a new baby is more or less ugh, and then through to a baby’s first year it’s still quite patchy and rocky, lots of stumbling points. We’re not past it just yet, but today was a gorgeous glimpse, validation that we’ve done a good job weaving a community for our boy, a relaxed celebration of being able to relax and celebrate.

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