The Birthday Ceremony: A Treatise On Doilies, Flaxseed, and Light-Up ShoesOctober 14, 2010 at 5:00 am | Posted in Lollipop | 20 Comments
Tags: Birthday, Children, Curiosity, Food, Friendship, Fun, Growing Up, Kids, School
A gaggle of children, 10 or so, sat around a wooden picnic table. Lollipop sat in a chair at the head of the table, a delicate cloth doily spread out in front of her. Her teacher placed four pink striped candles in wooden holders on the doily and lit them.
“Okay, Lollipop,” she said, “Make your wishes!” Lollipop paused for a second, pursed her lips, and blinked a slow, deliberate blink. Then she blew out the candles, one at a time, and waved away the smoke.
The other children watched as intently as their little attention spans would allow. They also concentrated on lobbing blades of grass and bits of hay, giggling at two cats wrestling in the nearby garden, and working hard not to fall off the picnic bench.
When the teacher asked the children to share something nice about Lollipop, it was, in fact, Lollipop herself who spoke up first. “I love princesses!” she said. This got the gaggle of children going. “I like Sleeping Beauty!” said one little girl. “I like bananas!” said another. “When’s it my birthday?” asked the boy across the table.
Eventually, with a little prodding from the teacher, a boy with hair the color of cinnamon said, “I like Lollipop because she plays with the fairy houses. I like to play with those, too.”
Milestones & Muffins
Then my husband talked about all that our little girl has accomplished in her four years and how happy we were to celebrate her birthday with her at her school. I could see her listening, thinking, itching to ask questions, about when she learned to walk and sing and tell jokes. But she stood in front of her chair and listened carefully.
Then we hugged. I managed not to cry. Lollipop handed out the apple muffins (whole wheat! flaxseed! healthy!) we had made the night before. Her teacher followed behind passing out sippy cups, Chex, and bananas.
Munching & Mingling
One little boy went around randomly kissing classmates on the hand. He kissed me, too. Another inhaled three bananas. One little girl showed me how to make her shoes light up. Pawpaw took pictures, Gramy kept Bun soothed, and Giggles joined us from his class. Daddy used his trusty Swiss Army Knife to cut muffins in half so everyone could have seconds. (They liked them!)
Our first preschool birthday celebration — it was equal parts endearing and entertaining, just as children themselves are.
Plus, there were Omega-3 fatty acids. Friends and family. Flashing footwear. A little something for everyone.
Do you enjoy glimpses into the life your child leads at school? What’s the birthday protocol for your child’s class? And why don’t they make light-up shoes for adults??
[Edited to add: Here’s the muffin recipe. My mom threw in some cinnamon because “it needed it.” And when I asked her how much, she said “enough to make it smell good.” She can cook on the fly like that, whereas I cannot, so take those recipe additions with a grain of salt. Or cinnamon, as it were.]