Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Defining Moment for a Baby Bird

A defining moment for Elias

Our little baby bird turned one as most of you know. So, we decided to celebrate. We invited to our home
1 Great-Grand Nana
2 Grandmothers
2 Grandfathers
2 Uncles
1 Auntie
3 Cousins...
And a partridge in a pear tree!
It was a day to remember. The food was exquisite (can you say 12-pound vegetable lasagna?). The guest list prestigious. And the gifts, well, any mama would have been happy to add these items to their child's dresser drawers or toychest (you know how we often times "suggest" gift ideas to eager family members? "yes" to sentimental gifts, "no" to gifts that will make you mental- battery-driven, plastic, light-flashing toys!!!).
It was an amazing day, much like a mini-family reunion. We were so proud to see our little baby bird walking, babbling, interacting and playing games with over three generations of his family. We took some really touching photos of Elias with both sets of grandparents and one really special photos with his 86-year old great grandmother.
The highlight of the party was when Elias was given a piece of his "bird's nest" birthday cake (well, it was actually a bird's nest cupcake, part of the "baby bird" motif!). I had prided myself on withholding JUNK from his little mouth for the first year of his life. I had succeeded and was proud (does a lick of Ben and Jerry's ice cream REALLY count???). It was a moment I had been waiting for. How would he respond to that lump of heaven before him? Would he gobble it up or refuse it and be loyal to his favorite cuisine- breastmilk? In a secret place, I wished that he would despise that cupcake. It was a symbol of breaking into the real world. A world where our children are bombarded with ads for sugary, artificial and dyed "snacks". Okay, I'm digressing (is this the "purist' in me speaking?).
Well, needless to say, Elias devoured his cupcake. It was like a National Geographic video. It was like a wild creature going after his prey. There were gasps in the room as he smashed, licked and smeared the cake over his mouth, cheeks and nostrils. He went about it so barbarically that I had to look away at points. It was horrifying! When his spree came to an end all we could do was laugh. The room was filled with roaring, belly laughs from children, to adults to the elderly. I had my answer. Elias was a child; a normal child who likes sweets.
I will always look back on that day with mixed emotions. Joy and pride in the completed first year of our third child. But also with sadness, as we realized that we no longer had a "baby" in our home.


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