We had an interesting conversation at the dinner table tonight. I think it started when K and N informed us that they didn’t remember some of the really fun things we did with them when they were little.
“Seriously?” Mr. December asked in exasperation. “Why do we even bother?”
This led to me reiterating my philosophy about first birthday parties: the kid doesn’t know or care, so the only important thing is to have photos with a nice looking cake and a well-decorated area around the highchair, because what really matters, as we all know, is what the children see in the photos of their childhood. When they see a gaggle of ducky cupcakes, a duck shaped balloon tied to the highchair, duck-shaped grilled cheese sandwiches, and a party hat that proclaims “I’m one!” they can feel like their first birthdays were a special event.
That being said, here’s some photographic evidence that I did some parenting today:
I gave E a few tasks this morning: as you see above, watering the seeds we planted last week as well as the plants on our windowsill; an activity with magnets where she had to find objects around the house and test whether or not they’re magnetic; and an art project involving paper towels and food colouring.
Later this evening, spurred on by the success of N’s home haircut, I agreed to cut K’s hair — she’s only been asking me to do it for a few weeks now. Sadly, she wouldn’t let me use the electric clippers on her head, so I wasn’t able to achieve professional-quality results. I’m not even sure my results were anywhere close to “skilled amateur” level. Not that it matters; by the time anyone sees her hair it will have grown out with little to no evidence of the hack job I’ve done.
A good friend of mine drove all the way from Mississauga (for those of you who don’t live around here, it’s a 45 minute drive from our home to his) to bring me sugar cookies that he’d baked. Wasn’t that lovely? I was struck by how generous it was to take the time out of his day… until I realized that with none of his three kids in the car, he got an hour and a half of blessed silence while driving here and back. (Note to self: car = isolation booth!) But really, it was a kind gesture and a delicious one. And when I can no longer wear any of my pants, I can blame him and his addictive cookies.
All in all it was a good day, though it’s bookended by tears. This morning I woke up to a very sweet text message from my cousin, telling me how much his late mum (my Aunty) loved me.
“Geez man,” I muttered, “you sure know how to make a girl cry first thing in the morning.” But it was a good cry, and a short one. And really, everyone should have the experience of waking up to a heartfelt and loving text message.
Just now when I was looking for photos of today’s activities, I came across one photo that stopped my scrolling and restarted my tears. It’s of my Mum, Aunty, and a much younger R, sitting on the steps in mum’s house. Aunty is holding a hairbrush and R’s hair is smooth and shiny. All three of them are smiling. I’m so glad I have it — photographic evidence of Aunty’s place in our lives.