Almost like a fairy tale, our pink roses bloom in our yard right around Meera's birthday. It seems almost too charmed to be true, but it is. On the eve of her birthday, while she was sleeping, my mom and I went out to the yard with flashlights to cut the most beautiful roses for the center of Meera's birthday table. It felt to me like we were weaving magic as we set to work getting everything ready for the Birthday Girl.
Our tradition is to have an "end of the bed present" waiting for when the birthday child wakes up on their special day. At the foot of Meera's crib we left a wrapped present and a helium balloon. We wondered what she'd do when she woke up to find them there. We heard her on the monitor, at 5:15 a.m., squeeling with delight (not unlike any other day she wakes up, just earlier than usual), and then it was silent. Braydon and I fell back to sleep, assuming that Meera had too. Kyle and Owen were so excited for their sister's birthday that they were up and in our bed at 5:30. By 5:45 they couldn't take it any longer, so we let them go wake up MorMor and MorFar and all of us quietly cracked open her door to peek in on her. There she was, lying quietly in her crib, huge smile on her face, bits of string and wrapping paper everywhere, her balloon and unwrapped present held tightly in her hands. We all went in, singing "Happy Birthday to You," and Meera popped up, jumping up and down, the happiest brand-new-two-year-old there could possibly be. We were all totally surprised at the fact that Meera had opened the gift all on her own! Minutes later, at 6 a.m., was the scene above (with MorMor)-- Meera discovers the kitchen table all decorated with all of us singing "Happy Birthday" once again. She screamed and squealed and shook her head like crazy and danced with delight as we've never seen her do before. She totally 'got it' that it was her birthday and she was absolutely delighted with it all.
And what 2-year-old wouldn't be thrilled? It was a birthday day custom designed to be perfectly fitting for Meera. And she saw, and truly savored, every single tiny detail.
On either side of Meera's seat, places were set for her four favorite loveys with a brand new tiny porcelain tea set. Bunny, Kitty, Cocoa, and Little Kitty were all wearing pink bows ready to celebrate their special girl's special day!
Probably her most favorite gift of the day turned out to be that tiny tea set. From the moment she laid eyes on it she was in love with it. She spent most of her birthday sitting in her seat, amongst the decorations and finery, serving tea to her loveys over and over and over again.
She wanted a bow like the bows her loveys were wearing. I was prepared for that! On her second birthday Meera Grace wore her first real bows in her hair. This (wearing bows in her hair) was something she had been wanting for a few weeks. So, it was extra special to finally have her wish come true. And her brothers had been waiting for (what seemed to them) such a long time to be able to give her their presents. By 6:15 a.m. they were helping Meera unwrap them. She opened Kyle's first-- "toy food!" and "toy pizza!"-- an idea Kyle had come up with entirely on his own.
Next was Owen's gift. A pink tutu bathing suit and pink glitter shoes that he had picked out for his sister. Meera could not have been more ecstatic about this gift, and-- of course-- insisted upon putting it right on.
Never in a million years did I think I'd be allowing this kind of stuff (tutus and glitter shoes) to take place with my own daughter in my own home. But, here we are. Children change us. And children have their own wills and ways-- that's for sure. I feel that in our little family we are at a place where we are able to truly delight in each other's delights. And for that, I could not be more thankful.
And Meera was on top of the world. And it wasn't even 7 a.m. yet.
7:30 a.m.-- Breakfast. Yogurt smoothies made by Kyle and Owen. And fresh blueberry muffins from Tabora Farm. And another singing of "Happy Birthday to You"~~ this time, complete with candles to blow out!
After the boys were off to school, another very special first for Meera on her 2nd Birthday: after getting out of the shower, she got her toenails painted by her Mama. This, too, Meera had been wanting for quite a while. She was very excited...
...and I must admit, (although, yet again, I never would have imagined it all to be so), so was her Mama.
The day before I had treated my mom and myself to pedicures. And I had brought the nail polish with us. My mom and I laughed at the color when they first put it on us. When I explained to the women in the nail shop that this was for my daughter's second birthday they told us to "enjoy every second of the pink" because soon enough it will be all about blue and green and black nail polish. I'm sure that's probably true. So, for Meera's second birthday, there were three generations of happy pink-toed feet.
And then she got to put on her birthday dress. This dress had been in her closet for many days and Meera was very anxious to be able to wear it. I had told her it was her "Birthday Dress" and we had waited for the big day. You could see her almost floating in it as she wore it that day. And another bow-- this one, pale green to match the dress, completed the picture of the happiest little two year old you ever did see. She ran downstairs exclaiming, "ta da!" as she made her grand debut for Papi and MorFar to see. Can you even imagine feeling that good about yourself? I am so happy to give that to my girl for as much time as I possibly, possibly can in her lifetime.
And, just for the record, she has the most absolutely adorable hair in the world. Truly! And it is like that --just perfectly-- all on its own!
Then it was time for Meera's nap. And her loveys sat patiently waiting for her to join them again.
And join them, she did. After her 3+ hour long nap. Princess for a whole day.
At 1:30, when Kyle and Owen got home from school, they too insisted on having their nails painted to match. MorMor painted theirs while I painted Margie's. Bubble gum pink all around!
And Meera sat, thrilled with it all, contentedly in her seat, surrounded by all the magic. Another special treat-- birthday stickers. Meera loves stickers.
And even another special treat-- for while she waited for lunch to be ready.
MorFar and Owen get the rotisserie chickens off the grill. Even though this was only her second birthday, this meal has already become the tradition for Meera's birthday lunch.
Sangria has quickly become a tradition too!
The Birthday Lunch~~ our family, MorMor and MorFar, and Margie. On the menu~~ rotisserie grilled chicken; Margie's pasta salad loaded with fresh veggies; a salad of items purchased the day before from the farm stand-- fresh mesclun greens, beets, goat cheese, and almonds with balsamic vinaigrette; and fresh strawberries of course. Meera's favorite part was the chicken (which she calls "bawk bawk")-- she kept saying "more bawk bawk! more bawk bawk!"
Papi gave Meera a beautiful gold necklace with three delicate butterflies dangling from it. Mommy gave Meera a 'big girl doll' (who became quickly named, "Girl"). Meera got gifts from MorMor and MorFar and Margie too. A few gifts-- each so thoughtful and perfect. And Meera was just absolutely stunningly happy with each one. And Kyle and Owen loved 'helping' her unwrap them.
Kyle and Owen help Meera blow out her candles. Sidenote: this has got to be one of my all-time favorite photos of my three bambinos.
My mom has always told me that the rule of thumb with children's birthday parties is to invite as many guests as the child is old. We never came anywhere close to following this for Kyle and Owen's birthdays (far from it!). But for Meera, it seemed just right. So, from 3:00-5:00 p.m. on her birthday, we had Meera's two favorite friends over for a cake-and-ice-cream party. Uma and Alex, their older sisters, and their moms, joined us for the grand finale of Meera's festive day.
No caption necessary. Bliss. Pure bliss.
After cake and ice cream there was playing outside and in. And toward the end, Margie read a book in the playroom.
It was truly a most magical day. Just look at the look on Meera's face in this photo! It captures her complete happiness and the joy of that day. The picture was taken at 7:35 p.m. We were about to head upstairs for baths and bedtime. Meera's birthday was ending but she was still smiling ear-to-ear. It could not have been any more perfect for her. And even now, days later, Meera is still talking about it and savoring all the details. "birthday dress." "bow." "toes." "Bunny bow." "tea." "bathing suit!" "toy pizza!" "balloons!" "cake!" "TWO!!!" Happy 2nd Birthday Meera Grace!