Saturday, October 15, 2016

Letter to Lucia: 7 Years Old

Dear Lucia,

Happy happy 7th birthday, little love.

You were so excited about your birthday this year. Every year you're excited--but more so this year than any other so far. You couldn't wait to turn seven (and have stated definitively that you now, in fact, feel seven). You counted down the days till your birthday for weeks; and you were just beside yourself with excitement as the big day approached.

So much excitement is adorable, and touching--but it also puts a lot of pressure on me, as your mother, to make sure you have a day that lives up to your expectations. When I remarked to your daddy this week that I was feeling overwhelmed with birthday preparations in the midst of an already crazy week, he suggested I cut some things out--like not bother getting you helium balloons to greet you in the morning, which you had specifically requested. Would you have withered in despair without balloons? No. But I went to the Dollar Tree at 9pm last night to get them anyway. And you were so happy to see them this morning. One was in your room when you woke up. The rest were tied to chairs at the table downstairs. You loved them.

You got to celebrate your birthday at school yesterday: I dropped off cupcakes with Halloween frosting and picks (store-bought, of course), your class sang Happy Birthday, your teacher had everyone write a birthday message and picture which she put into a little book, and I went in to volunteer at lunchtime. All fun.

And finally--October 15. Your birthday. You had some very specific requests for how you wanted the morning to go, which we did our best to follow. First: have balloons greet you (done). Next: open two of your presents. Finally: have scrambled eggs and chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. After that, you and Greta had your gymnastics class, and then we set out on our birthday adventure: a day in the city.

You didn't want a party this year--I floated the idea, but you were quite clear about not wanting one--and after a lot of debate a city adventure is what you chose. You decided the itinerary: Lego store, candy store, pizza lunch, playground. We drove in, parked near Madison Square Park, and began our (wallet-draining) quest for birthday excitement.

I think I can safely say the day exceeded all of our expectations. You and Greta were both soooo excited about getting to pick out new Legos; you chose a gigantic dragon castle from the Elves line, and Greta chose two smaller Lego Friends sets (hot dog cart and supermarket). The cashier threw in a ridiculous number of free items as well--two knight Lego figures, a Lego City fountain set, and a holiday set.

Excited beyond description, we emerged from the Lego store and walked to lunch--a little restaurant where your daddy and I used to eat all the time when we worked as editors together. We even walked past our old workplace. It was more than a little strange to be back in that exact spot, where--in 2003--we met; and where, in 2016, we were strolling with you and Greta. Time! Life choices! Luck! (But you're seven. You won't understand those wonders for a long while.)

Next up: some bank-breaking candy-shopping fun at Dylan's Candy Bar. You get your love of candy from your dad. (I don't much care for anything but chocolate.) You and Greta filled your bags with all manner of gummies and licorice.

And then--some candy eating and playing at the playground in Union Square Park. You had so much fun on all the slides and climbing equipment. It was hard keeping you both in sight at all times, especially when we walked back out through the Greenmarket, and when you were both skipping and running down the city streets, reminding me (again) why--despite perfect city excursions like today's--I'm so glad we don't live there anymore. (Meanwhile, your dad started perusing NYC real estate listings as soon as we got home.)

On the way back to the car, a cashmere-sweater store was handing out free cotton candy. You were meh; Greta declared that SHE NOW LOVES COTTON CANDY. You were so happy with the entire day, and so ready to go home to open the rest of your presents. We left on a high note.

Back home, you got to open the rest of your presents (a Woodzeez bakery was your top favorite birthday gift), and we sang happy birthday with a lovely cake your daddy made (which I adorned with Shopkins). Then--some playing, and bedtime.

Your dad left for Germany after he read you a story, which was a sad end to an otherwise perfect birthday. Nonetheless, you told me it was the best birthday ever--thanking us for all your presents and for letting you get the BIGGEST Lego set--which makes all the crazy planning worthwhile. Whew.

It was a fun birthday for all of us, lovey. Now onward with your seven-year-old fabulousness.

Favorite books: Elephant and Piggie, Never Girls, Stella Batts

Favorite toys/activities: Shopkins (top favorite toy right now), ponies (less now; sigh), Uno, other games

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