We have spent the last two days celebrating a little girl who turned two yesterday, and – as if I really need to mention it – my heart is full up.
Giving in to my overly sentimental need to really feel things, I allowed myself to cry. I couldn’t help it, really, and I’m not even sure why. At the exact time labour would have begun two years ago, I got as choked up as I imagined I would, and as we put Ella to bed, both Joel and I kissed her like crazy and took a million photos of the moment. Because we both knew it was meaningful. And because we both love her like ridiculous people. And because we are so drop-to-our-knees grateful to be the lucky two who get to be her parents.
I’m like Buddy the Elf of birthdays. I speak fluent Birthday Cheer. People need to be celebrated, y’all, and one of the ways I love to show my love is by creating special days for people I care about. When it comes to my kids, well, I draw the line at hiring water slides and helicopters and hot air balloons – but only just. When it comes to my kids, I stay up until all hours of the night cutting out cardboard paper flowers and tiny freaking holes through each of the hundred centres because the hole punch doesn’t work properly and I end up with blisters war wounds that would make Joel’s surfing scars look like tiny drops in the ocean. When it comes to my kids, I lug tents and food and tables and flowers and drinks and boxes of decorations all the way down to the beach, over several thousand trips and several thousand hours, with a baby slung to my chest and another one trying to run away. And I do it all without yelling at Joel once.
I know. I’m come so far.
To honour her love of the beach, we celebrated Ella on Sunday with a Hawaiian Luau party. And every bit of effort it took to pull off was worth it. Because in front of me stood a little girl who felt special and utterly adored.
Her Hula party, in photos:
The next day, on her actual birthday, we crept into her room when she woke with piles of balloons and the best Happy Birthday song you’ve ever heard. She stood there, in her bed, smiling this smile that is perhaps my most favourite thing in the whole world. Before long, the lounge room was covered in wrapping paper and string and presents and toys, her most favourite being a pair of gumboots from our friends Shaun and Kelly, which she put on immediately, marched to the front door and demanded we head out. So we did. And we spoiled her with her favourite things.
And afterwards, a road trip out to a very special farm, where her next surprise was waiting.
May I introduce you to Molly and Ruby, Ella’s baby chickens and our newest family members.
Ella just freaked out with happiness when we met them. “Ella’s chickens”, she kept saying. “Yes sweetie, yours!”, we’d reply.
While Billy bunks in with us for a little while, Molly and Ruby have dibs on his room, where they grow and cheep with continuous excited interruptions from both Ella and Joel. I’m not sure who is more thrilled. Ella wants to cuddle them all the time, and Joel? Well, last night he checked on them every five minutes, adding more tissues to the ground so it would be softer for them, creating little dark corners in case they needed a light break, adding more tissues, changing the water, giving them a cuddle, adding more tissues, and finally saying goodnight.
I’m so looking forward to collecting fresh eggs from them every morning, and watching Ella’s curiosity and love of them grow.
Happy birthday, Squids.
You are so loved.