We’re anticipating three this week, and in this case, I don’t mean children (although that’s true, too). Our little Eloise turns three on Friday, and it’s definitely one of those “we blinked and here we are” sort of scenarios in our house.
I was gone for three days this weekend and E looks like she grew six inches. She is spunky and persistent and feisty and bold, and I love her so much for all of it. The side effect of these qualities though, is that any remaining baby or toddler status has faded away. And it happened too fast.
Eloise has been asking for a rainbow birthday party for the past six months or so. I was completely on board, knowing that I’d be full up with baby by this point and that putting together a colorful party was about as doable as it could get. Along with the rainbow party, she requested rainbow pies for dessert. I’ve probably asked her a dozen times or more since the spring whether she was sure about pies, because I’d need to get creative about making dairy free rainbow pies happen if this was the case. She was adamant and sure every time.
A month or so ago, I asked a friend (who has a knack for all things culinary and enjoys baking) whether I could commission her to figure out the rainbow pie equation for Eloise. She graciously obliged. So, she’s spent time on Pinterest and looking for mini pie tins and planning out what would work well for such a specific (and kind of challenging) dessert request. Sure enough, she made a plan, and I was so grateful to her for sorting out that detail for me while I plan out the rest. Friends who will bake for your kids’ birthday parties are grace in life on any day, but especially when it’s August, you’re über pregnant, and you don’t love crafting sweets.
Enter Eloise at the breakfast table this morning, who informed me that she has changed her mind about the rainbow party–a Frozen party is now her theme of choice, and she’s over the rainbows completely. If I doubted her three-ness before today, I cannot doubt it now. I explained to her that we could save a Frozen party for next year, and that we would carry on with the rainbow plan for the shindig that’s just four days away.
Then she dismissed the pies. “Am I going to have a rainbow cake then? I want a rainbow cake, Mommy. With ice cream, too. Can I have a rainbow cake and ice cream?” I asked her about the rainbow pies and she turned them down in a second flat. “No. I don’t want the pies. I want a rainbow cake.” She wasn’t demanding or sassy, just matter of fact. And of course, as her mama, I want to make the day special for her, so my wheels began turning on cake and ice cream and how to make that happen on short notice. I hadn’t wrapped my mind around a birthday party without cake, anyway, so in a way, this worked in my head. But I thought about my friend and the effort to dream up rainbow pies, and then how we’re so close to the party and the list of things I’m trying to keep simple growing longer, not shorter.
This afternoon we went to the bakery and ordered up one very Eloise-looking, dairy free rainbow cake.
The thing is, she’s only three once. And she’s our baby girl. And pretty soon, she’s not going to be the baby, and her brother spent his birthday in Disney World, and I just want so much to make this celebration all that she’s dreaming it will be. I realize she’s little and it’s conceivable that she won’t remember, but she remembers every bit of last year’s birthday and it’s in my heart to want to make it great. After all, when your not-yet three year old makes very specific requests known in such a hopeful way, it’s natural to want to oblige out of love. This girl is so celebrated in our hearts, and I want her to feel that in every way on Saturday.
I’ve promised myself I’ll keep things simpler this go around, and I will. It’s why I ordered up a cake today instead of trying to go back to the drawing board and start planning desserts from scratch. It’s why I bought favors and didn’t sew them this year, and why I’ve stayed away from Pinterest as much as possible.
The forecast is calling for a 100% chance of thunderstorms this Saturday. I’ve envisioned an outdoor party all along, so plans are in revision mode and Eloise is sad that we might not get to be outside. The truth of the matter is, whether we’re in or out, that celebrating Eloise will be the bright spot in our week, no matter the weather. Mixed with a little drizzle or a torrential downpour, the sunshine and light she adds to our lives is certain to produce a rainbow or two either way.
In honor of three, there will be cake and ice cream. And we’ll all gather and eat and sing and she will know that she is so surrounded, which is the very reason I plan parties at all in the first place. It’s good to remember that when the list feels long and the days, short.
trying not to blink this week as we soak up these last few days with our two year old, and as she continues to take our world by storm in all of the very best ways.
so grateful to be her mama, always.