Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Little Party for a Little Big Girl...

I wrote this post yesterday, but in my very frazzled state of mind (we're moving in THREE DAYS!) I didn't actually post it.  As a result, I am now convinced that I have set Nissa up with the perfect excuse for Second Child-Syndrome.  I can just hear her years from now on her therapist's couch: "All my self-esteem issues can be traced back to the day my mother FORGOT to blog about my first birthday....and it all went downhill from there...." So here's the post I forgot to post - sorry that I messed up, future Nissa!  xoxoxmama

Yesterday was Nissa's first birthday.  Now I could wax lyrical about what an emotional day it was for me, how the passage of a year has gone by in the blink of an eye, or how I was reliving every moment of my labor and her very dramatic delivery (she was born too fast for the midwives to get here in time, so it was just Yousuf and I), yadda, yadda, yadda...but I know most of you are tired of me being so sappy.  So here's another kind of story.

Inara and I ran out to the store yesterday to pick up a little birthday treat for Nissa.  I was feeling so guilty about not being able to pull off the same type of big birthday bash that I had for Inara's first birthday (complete with a made-from-scratch cake and a bubble machine.  Because EVERYONE needs a bubble machine at their first birthday party!).  Oh sure, I knew that Nissa would never remember the fact that her first birthday was spent amidst mountains of boxes and packing tape...but it was just the principle of the whole thing.  And honestly, I was kicking myself for packing up the flour and sugar and other baking supplies a few days earlier.  So, my Mommy Guilt Moment resulted in a last-minute dash to the store and bakery.

We picked up a few things - a funny birthday hat, banner, and tattoos (that last one was for Inara, due to yet another Mommy Guilt Moment.  I didn't want her to feel any less special on Nissa's birthday).  But of course that led to the following discussion:

Inara:  Mama, am I helping you with Nissa's birday (I find it adorable that she says "birday", so I had to retell it that way)?
Me:  Sure you are, honey!  See, you are a very important part of Nissa's life, and so you can help to make her birthday a special day!
Inara: (thinking) So...what else do we need?
Me:  We need a cake.  Or a cookie?  How about a cookie cake?  It's not too big, not too's just right (so that there wouldn't be lots of leftovers, get it?)!
Inara:  I like cookies.  And cake!  I think I LOOOVE Cookie Cakes! Let's give it a shot!
Me:  Alllright...ooooh, and we can write something on the cookie cake too!
Inara:  Can I pick what to write?  Because I'm an important part of Issie's life!  So I get to make her birday cookie cake!
Me: Oooookay....(knowing that something bizarre is surely going to ensue as a result of this fateful decision).  Sure you can, sweetie.  You can pick what the cookie cake should say.

And then off we went to the bakery section of the store. 

There was a lovely little lady behind the counter, a sweet grandmotherly sort who looked at Inara when we explained that it was her sister's first birthday and said, "And I'm sure YOU are going to be the one to pick the message, aren't you?  I can tell that you must be such a wonderful big sister!".

And Inara smiled at her so sweetly and said, "Of course I am.  But, I'm much much MUCH bigger.  But today is Issie's birday, so she is just a LITTLE big.  Not too much.  Not like ME.  Mamamammaamama!  I know what to write on the cookie cake!"

And there was NO amount of cajoling or convincing or even, I am sorry to say, bribing (not even for more tattoos!  Shocking!) that would get her to change her mind: "But Mama!  You said that I could pick what the cookie cake says!  And you SAID that I could make Issie's birday special!  And I LOVE HER!"

Seriously.  How can you even argue with that logic? I have a sneaking suspicion that she just threw in the "I love her" part as a last-ditch attempt to get her way, but it certainly sealed the deal for me.  I was horrified by the thought of me refusing to let her dictate the terms of the cookie cake and how it would forever taint her love for her little sister.  We can't be having that, now can we?

Man, she is SO good.

And so Nissa's birthday will forever be remembered, not only as the day on which we celebrated amongst boxes and packing tape everywhere, not just for the fact that Mama didn't pull off the Party To End All Parties, but also as the day that Inara declared her eternal and unending love for her little sister with this masterpiece:

Happy First Birthday, my sweet little girl.  I know it's going to be hard to tell sometimes, but you are so very loved - by all of us.  We have enjoyed every second of this past year, watching you grow into a Little Big girl...and we can't wait for all the beautiful memories yet to be made with you as a part of our lives.

I should also take this opportunity to say that I'm sorry in advance about your future birthday cakes.  I'll try my best to make them have much more normalish messages in the future, but who are we kidding? Your family is anything but normal.  You're just going to have to get used to it, sweetie.  Sorry about that, too.

But we do love you so very much, our lovely Little Big Nissa.  And we'll pretend not to notice you acting like you don't know us when you get just a Little Bigger.

Us on Nissa's First Birthday. All those boxes make for such a nice backdrop, don't they? 
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