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Birthday Blowout

Maddie had a fantastic birthday and I
didn’t shed a single tear. I did watch, misty-eyed, a few
times. I’m telling you, this kid grows like a weed and it
seems only last week that she was trying to run, stumbling on her
coltish legs and skinning her knee on the sidewalk.

Oh, wait, that was last week.

This year, as a relative wisely pointed
out, was the first year Maddie really GOT what the whole birthday
thing is about, and knew going into it just how awesome it would
be. So she was prepared to drink that elixir til the straw broke,
and boy, did she. Maddie knows all our traditions by now, and she
was anticipating them every step of the way.

For example, the girls get a new outfit to wear on their birthday
– usually something I buy during spring sales and hang onto.
Something fun and easy to get around in, but frilly and feminine
enough to satisfy the princesses. “Can I have my birthday
outfit now?” Maddie asked at breakfast. Not even any pretense
of surprise. We also give one gift that morning, and Maddie went
straight for it when she came to breakfast, no searching around or
even politely fake look of “Oh, hey, I forgot about this, you
really shouldn’t have!”

Maddie got up an hour earlier than usual, much to my dismay. She
had her bagel and schmear and bacon, and chomped at the bit until
the skating rink opened. We skated waaaaaaaay too much, gulped down
a meal and hit the carousel, then went back for round two of
skating. I thought we’d exhausted the kiddos and had at least
earned a nice long naptime, but Maddie bounced back up as soon as
her music was over.

Dinner was the Maddie Show, with adoring grandparents looking on as
Maddie pulled out all her best material. She certainly knew the
group was there for her, and was determined to squeeze every bit of
happiness from the moment. We all had our ice cream (no cake,
remember?) which simply added to my child’s hyperness.

A flurry of presents later (too much, of course, but how can you
hold back on a girl you love so much?) and it was bedtime. The
girls were surprisingly good about going to bed with all the new
toys still unopened, and Maddie was excited about being measured on
the growth chart to prove how much bigger she was. New books for
night-night, and my girl fought to keep those eyes open. I think
she was determined to stay up until midnight just so she
wouldn’t miss a minute of her big day.

I love seeing her at this age, unapologetically enjoying such a big
day. It’s as if she’s riding a bike down It’s All
About Me Lane, arms flung wide and pig tails flying joyfully in the
breeze as she absorbs every minute of the day. Hopefully this
feeling will last for a long, long time.


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