She is 5 now. My GIRL. We are both surprised at the speed at which it has come. Somehow 5 seems bigger, older, just ...more. Sometimes she forgets, and still says she is 4. Then she laughs, and corrects herself. She is pleased. With this. The being of 5.
I am struck by her growth in self-confidence, and her comfort level. She is more comfortable in her skin. She loves her preschool, and it is a definite advantage to be at the same school again. There is the familiarity of the place, yet she is in the Pre-K group this time, and loves being one of the oldest in the class. For the last two years in preschool, she was one of the youngest. This year it is "her school." Hers alone. BOY has his own school. And, she has something for herself.
She has made a best friend at school. And, they are inseparable. Last year, she had friends, but was perfectly content to play alone much of the time. It is lovely to see her blossoming socially.
A couple of Sundays ago, in the midst of E's intense rehearsal schedule, and BOY's change of schools, we had a birthday party for GIRL. After much consultation, she and I decided on a fancy tea party. But, GIRL also wanted a Unicorn theme. And her special request? She wanted a drop off birthday party. So, we had a Unicorn, Fancy Tea, Birthday Luncheon Party. 7 little dressed up girls, (one mom who stayed to help), and BOY came to tea.
The table was set with fine china. A combination of my great-grandmother's china, and some added china cups I found at a local thrift store. GIRL helped me pick out the floral table cloth and napkins at the party store. A large toy unicorn, with a sparkly blue mane, was centered on the table with pink and lavender streamers leading up to the light fixture. GIRL folded the napkins, and helped set the table. Together we arranged the seating, making sure that everyone would feel comfortable.
When the girls had all arrived, we sat down to luncheon. GIRL was a wonderful hostess, introducing the girls to each other. Another mom and I helped guide the platters around the table. I served Teddy Bear Tea and apple juice. Our Teddy Bear Tea is simply chamomile tea with a liberal amount of honey and milk. The girls loved eating off of china plates, and drinking out of china cups. BOY enjoyed hamming it up and making the girls laugh.
We had PB & J fancy tea sandwiches, with crusts cut off. Platters of fresh strawberries, little pigs in a blanket, meatballs, cheese cubes, dried blueberries, and warm cheese and ham puffed pastries. Almost everything had frilly toothpicks. Because...why not?
After lunch, each girl had a unicorn to color. Then the girls played for a bit outside and in the playroom. Right before cake time, I gathered everyone for a story. I read "The Midnight Unicorn" by Neil Reed. It is a lovely story about a young girl who goes to the park each week with her father to visit a unicorn statue. On this visit, the unicorn comes alive under her hands, and flies through the sky, taking her to snowy mountains, a warm desert, and to frolic with other unicorns in the ocean's surf.
And, of course, no party is without drama...and humor. Well, humor in retrospect. After successfully gathering everyone outside in the front yard for a group photo, as I was leaning over to take the shot...a rather LARGE praying mantis landed on my bare back! (My fancy halter dress picked out of my closet by GIRL.) So, while I tried not to SCREAM, my friend picked up a small stick and tried to flip the praying mantis off my back. She didn't want to touch it either! The poor praying mantis hopped around on my back a few times, before taking the hint to hop OFF. I believe I aged several more years...
Then it was time for cake! I made a chocolate cake with white icing, sprinkled with lavender sugar, silver candles, and pink lettering. I found a beautiful cream colored toy unicorn with a glittery mane and tail to front the cake.
I wanted to keep things simple, and not have the requisite bag of party favors. Yet, the quest for getting each guest a unicorn, took me to 4 different TarJAY stores...a brief dip into an insanity of my own making. But, it was all worth it! Each girl left with a small stuffed animal unicorn.
GIRL was thrilled with her party, and I had at least as much fun. The highlight for BOY may have been the praying mantis. As for the girls? I think they liked the frilly toothpicks best...