A Quiet Celebration
Recently, our child turned 3. What I loved most about the day was witnessing our little one’s clear understanding of the significance of the occasion, and observing his reactions to certain aspects of the celebration.
He relished seeing so many sweet videos sent from family and friends who live afar. However, each and every rendition of “Happy Birthday” (whether pre-recorded or in real-time) clearly made him uncomfortable.
He was overjoyed with the excuse to eat a donut in the morning (which was his choice of sugary indulgence rather than cake), and was satisfied by the ceremony of blowing out a candle.
Adam and I decided not to host a gathering. While West thoroughly enjoys visitors and playing with his friends, he seems to be happiest in low-key environments. And when we asked him if he wanted guests, he repeatedly responded with a quick, “no thank you.”
Instead, we turned on music, had a dance party in our tiny living room, and watched as our 3 year old opened cards that were mailed to the Cottage, and a small stack of (borrowed) gifts.
Like last year, he got a fresh pile of library books. We swaddled a few in our cloth napkins and ta towels so that he could have the experience of unwrapping something. He had fun untying the bundles, and didn’t need any help from us in order to do so. In the end, there was no waste, as the packaging required no paper, tape or ribbon.
We also gave him a beautifully constructed wooden excavator by Fagus, which he’d been requesting for months.
There was no wrapping necessary— we just bound a cloth belt around the wooden shipping box like a bow, and wrote his name in crayon on the top. He was delighted by it just the same.
I look forward to seeing how celebration #4 differs from 3, just as 3 differed from 2. But I would very much appreciate it if this year would pass less hurriedly. I want to soak up each second with our wonderful 3 year old.