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We're stretching them out this week. I went in for Buddy's birthday celebration on Thursday the 3rd. The reason: on his real birthday, the school was having their Holiday Share (a Christmas concert for all Grade 1s). I was glad to go in on a different day to make him feel special. It was my good fortune to be able to go for both days. Joey and Cally came with me for the Holiday Share. There, we watched Buddy and his classmates sing Christmas carols (including a really cute hip hop song where Buddy was totally grooving along with the music). After the concert, we went up to his classroom with other parents and enjoyed a morning of yummy treats. So, in hindsight, I could see why his teacher Ms.N wanted to do his birthday on a different day.
When I went for his school birthday, I arrived just in time to see he and his classmates participating in their birthday ritual - brainstorming and writing a special birthday book called The Important Thing about Michael is... All the kids eagerly raised their hands to contribute ideas while Ms.N wrote them all on the board. Imagine hearing other children say things like he plays fair, he's friendly, he is good at math games, he's a good drawer, he's fun, whenever anyone falls on the playground he asks 'are you okay?' I quietly observed as tears filled my eyes and pride filled my heart. And there was more. He received a special birthday pencil (purple, his favorite color). He picked a cake and frosting flavor and helped to cook it. I helped to decorate it with three friends he picked to help. The class interviewed him to find out more things like his favorite number, favorite animal, etc. Little kids kept coming up to him to whisper questions in his ear, and Michael held court, grinning and graciously being the center of attention. Finally, we ate cake. All the little children were served and watched attentively as Buddy took the first bite. What a lovely class he has. I am in awe of his wonderful teacher.
(For Holiday Share, Buddy wore his new purple hoodie. Can you see him?)
I enjoyed a morning coffee in Stanley with Joey and Cally before going back to work. At work, some of my couseling department colleagues baked me a cake, complete with a singing candle. In the evening, we went to new Rolf's (Wolf's) for a lovely birthday dinner. Joey had made arrangements for a lovely table and a special dessert - pabaloda. Ella had been anticipating dinner for the two days prior and by the time we were ready to go, she had picked a special dress, put a birthday bow in her hair and coaxed me into putting on a little bit of eyes and cheeks for her. I could just eat her up with that new hairdo.
When Rolf brought out our birthday pavlova, he played a Happy Birthday track for the whole restaurant to hear. It was lots of fun. I couldn't imagine doing this any other way than to have dinner with family, in a wonderfully familiar restaurant. And of course, starting the day on skype and phone with my sisters (and Jared and Rob), who always make sure to be a part of our special day as much as they can from NYC.
I'll write more about the Tug of War party we had yesterday in another post.