G's Second Birthday
On their birthdays, each child receives a full day of both parents' attention to do something they've never done before, a short film of the past year of their life, a handmade toy, and a cake we make. I haven't finished G's birthday compilation yet, but will soon.
For G's second birthday, we went to Portland to go tidepooling and found lots of creatures and treasures. We played and ran and had a picnic and watched for lobster boats along Cape Elizabeth. We also explored Fort Williams and the Portland Head lighthouse, where Geoff and I spent happy days when we were dating...a lovely day. We bought a wind chime at the lighthouse gift shop, which will forever remind me of the dramatic, stormy weather when we set out today. This picture is the first one of her smiling as a 2-year-old. It's also the moment the skies cleared.
The view from our picnic table.
She spies a lobster boat.
Daddy is always teaching them something.
Whoa! Watch your step!
All done, Daddy.
You can see the waterline.
Now off to see the castle, which I have distinct memories of standing in with Geoff 10 years ago and discovering my first birch bark, a piece of which I still have. I was fascinated! The woods have been cleared a bit since then, and there's a path now.
Tragically, it hasn't been maintained or restored, and you can no longer go in.
After some water and sunscreen, it's off to explore the lighthouse.
And after a long ride home and a long nap, it's a birthday party at home.
Topped with Aunt Stacy's vintage Sevi cake topper from their years in Germany, from when she turned 2.
G's hat, which said "1" last year; I ripped off the number and cut out and sewed on a 2.
I was a bit stressed out as I had to whip together the icing at the last minute (no recipe!), so Geoff decorated on the fly.
Aunt Amanda sent her a wooden makeup kit...
...complete with toy nail polish.
I found her an antique dolly high chair and sewed her dolly a velcro-on diaper.
They played and made a huge mess.
Then I gave her my mom's gift - a quilt 80 years in the making, started by my mom's grandmother and finished by my mom when I was 13. She saved those pieces all those years we were little, through all the moves. She finally made it and saved the completed quilt until I had a little girl. As soon as little G opened the gift, she identified it before C or Geoff did. She instantly said, with just one rip of the paper, "It's a quilt!" And as soon as she freed it from its wrappings, she squished it up in her baby arms and proudly carried it to the living room for a tea party with her new teaset. C brought all the stuffed animals & dolls.
They basically just had cake for dinner. And after she went to bed and I inspected the quilt for the first time in many years, I started to see little pieces of my life my mom had sewn in -- including little patches of the fabric from the first dress she ever made me.
Like our genes, we all come together to make a discrete but unified pattern that is lovely in its variety. And that's kind of what birthday celebrations are all about - the passing of a year, the organized marking of a life beautiful by chaos.