I’d better get my act together & share pictures of our boy’s 1st birthday hoopla, before he is bar-mitzvah or riding without training wheels or me. Let’s recount baby gifts before it’s all college essays and razors, huh? We had us a birthday party at our same nearby park that we had K’s 1 year old fête in. So many family milestones have been marked there, including every spring season of petals and cherry blossom parties. I’ve danced there on the main stage to the beat of taikos and bells. I’ve squirreled baskets of succulents at the garden festivals, weaved my way through joggers while very pregnant. I’ve worried around the main children’s playground, not seeing my girl for a whole minute. It is where both kids have swung on their first swings and slid down their first slides, hair lifting from their very first bout of plastic slide induced static electricity. Only fitting that we’d have the first of a lifetime of birthdays there, at the castle playground, blowing out a candle near the elephant slide. One of the most special parts of Jude’s party was that our dear friends would be present, having just flown in, over the ocean, and in and out of weeks to get to us. They brought plenty of love, hugs, and treats. They were a festival with wings, even making Mexican-spiced beef, gorgeous sangrias, and hefty bowls of the very best salsa. As if that weren’t enough, they brought enough candy to stuff Willy Wonka! Did I mention that to include these friends, we had to scoot the celebration day back quite a bit, but no matter—that brought it to Cinco de Mayo, hence the everything-Mexican/latinny/delish. And, I sure had my mind made up to make us a pinata (not that I ever had before!) Add to the calendar, the fact that in Japan, May 5th is also Children’s Day/Boy’s Day, called Kodomo no Hi. See My MKB article!! here, for Multicultural Kids Blogs. Wheew. We were flying! Birthday cake! Japanese treats & subtle odes to Children’s Day! Pinata craziness! Salsa! Coronas…We had a blast and a half. We had us a one year old Jude.
I love making celebrations because my inner color-obsessions come through loud and clear. Thing is, I am surely BFF with Joy or OH JOY designs. Thanks to our fiathful, amazing, generous besties who flew in from South Florida, so did all the party gear. As if they weren’t already paying overage fees, they added to the candy, aqua and green napkins, lanterns, party pitchers, hats, and more of the items you see in the pictures. I could wallpaper my walls in this OH JOY confetti print paper napkins. Really, I could paper my LIFE in them–a uniform of printed pants, skirt, silk panels on a cardi, preppy leads for our stinky dogs, you name it. I pretty much don’t have a favorite color, but more of a grouping I call “sunset”. It is more of a melange, a melting sorbet-sicle. See all this loot? We treasure the people. My seventeen-year old little sister was also situated with us here at her new life abroad. She is co-party planner and definitely the more organized one. I swear she could run a large scale catering business on the side, eyes closed. How awesome for us to look back and see she was there. When we splatted open my pinata and I could have cried from the breaking of something I worked hard making (yes, nursing moms with suddenly one year olds can be emotional), we invited all the park kids to come join us. We had so much candy! We knew they would have so much fun, knowing that for most of these Japanese kids, ours would be their first ever pinata. Viva Cinco de Mayo! The parents were enamored; we could have asked them anything, shared deep secrets; generosity and candy is magnetic. Explosions of candy=joy. period. The kids and parents came hesitantly at first, but then they were running! Viva our little boy! Long live the community we feel strengthened by as we raise our children. Thanks be to the L-rd for giving us such a family and situating us among friends, salsa, & the best party foods. Perhaps the fact that I haven’t shared anyt of the party pics perhaps means I was saving them close to my heart. It just so happens that weaning is in full effect. My little boy is roving, looking for comfort and nourishment apart from me. His is a sturdy frame. It is all perfect and terribly sweet, each memory of his babyhood, a Sweetart or mini Tootsie Roll flinging out.