This past Saturday, March 9th , we celebrated our granddaughter Erin’s 1st Birthday.
The festivities were many. She loved her yellow spotted balloon (helium filled) pulling it up and down with great delight, watching it float upward and pulling it back down and investigating the paper weight that lay on the floor ( and kept it from going up to the ceiling). Soon it became gift opening time. She opened her gifts, yes, indeed, loving every moment of removing paper from the various boxes, big or small ; size seemed to make no apparent difference. The ribbons were held, pulled, and looked at with great wonderment. New clothing was touched, cars that went to her new Fisher Price/Little People’s Garage were tried out for their mobility. One toy, that received intense work, was the doors that opened and closed on a very small wooden house. Definitely a favorite of the day. A break for a nap, was wisely offered by her parents. Upon waking about an hour and half later, it was time for the Rubber Ducky Cupcakes and ice cream. Mom positioned Erin carefully into her seat of honor. Bib was placed. And then Beth declared, Erin you are free to get as messy as you like, and I wouldn’t be upset. The No. 1 candle was placed into the scoop of vanilla ice cream, and the Rubber Ducky Cupcake was placed on its plate. We all broke out into a chorus singing “Happy Birthday to you!” It appeared as though Erin knew that it WAS HER DAY. Candle blown out and removed, the plate of ice cream and the plate with the Rubber Ducky were placed before her, within reach! The first hand went into the frosting, then directly to her mouth, with a grin from ear to ear, that said, “ I can enjoy another taste of that!” The cupcake followed. Then the reach into the ice cream. “WAH!!!! “ Tears came immediately! Shock!! I said to myself, “The ice cream is cold. We need to remove that from her tray,” and proceeded to do so immediately, before anymore pain was to be experienced. Her hands were free to continue the delight of frosting and cupcake, and smiles returned, and continued to abound. Indeed, a celebration of her new life, now moving into the second year! What joy, what celebration, what an environment of acceptance were experienced by all that day. All through the gift of God’s love, shared once again into our world through a child one year of age. Oh, indeed, her parents had made many preparations, grandparents had traveled for the event, all the ups and downs of parenthood were not erased, but they were able to be embraced on this journey we call life, through the presence of a little one.
It brought to mind one more time a phrase I have come to appreciate over the years:
“Children need that care of adults if they are to survive.
Adults need the care of children if they are to grow.”
Erin helped me “to grow”, to remember, that it is ok to cry out in times of pain . In one sense, I say, “how could you forget, Karen ” and yet, in another sense it helped to be reminded. May we stand / sit next to each other in our times of tears, hear each other’s screams, and remove “the plate of ice cream”, as might be helpful, knowing that through it all, God is there for us/ with us. Amen and Amen.