...is the process by which we create, discover, learn and grow with those we cherish most.


dress up is fun... but being yourself is better

When we told Ava she was going to a birthday tea-party today, she couldn't stop giggling. Not so much because it was a birthday or a tea-party, but because she hadn't seen her friend in a long time. She patiently waited while I wrapped the present and then asked if she could carry it. We held hands across the street and she told me to look both ways. Walking on the curb, she handed me the present and then knocked on the door. Unfortunately, the birthday girl glanced over at Ava and then trotted off without a welcome- which was not surprising since she hadn't seen Ava in over 6 months.

Uncertain of what to do next, I could sense how this was a good learning opportunity - for the both of us. I personally am considerably shy in new settings, and never gave it much thought until I watched Ava and felt how she was feeling standing in the doorway.

Like most parents, we want our children to make and take the best out of experiences - and have fun. What consistently amazes me about parenting is how it has this surprising ability to empower us in any situation where our children are concerned. I wanted her to enjoy herself- so I braced myself and pulled myself out my comfortable shell to show her that we can make this hour be what we want it to be.

Even though she liked her own dress better [I did too], I encouraged her to change into the dress the hostess picked for her from the rack of rentals. We colored and tried on a few different hats... sipped punch out of tiny glass teacups, ate purple m&m's and sprayed more perfume than our noses could handle...

Tea Party

Tea Party

Tea Party

Our hostess stayed calm while trying to instruct the girls on how to be in a fashion show. Not an easy task when considering these 10 little girls, only few who know each other, were dressed-up to look like contestants, and then expected to partake in an activity that overlapped their nap hour. I couldn't believe it when Ava, with a smile on her face, skipped along the runway all by herself, and then returned to sip more of her tea punch.

Awarded with ice-cream, cup cakes and strawberry milk, the toddler guests indulged quietly, until two had meltdowns. Finally it was over, and it wasn't until they got re-dressed into their own clothes, were they able to be themselves.

The birthday girl, holding hands with her best friend, started playing ring around the rosey - alone together. Ava stood close and threw her hand in their circle, hoping to catch one of their hands. She did. Then looked at me as if relaying her thoughts directly into my heart, I felt a "thank you for this Mom. This is soo much fun."

Tea Party


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  2. Since this was a 'girls only - no boys allowed' party, Noah and I stayed back at the house and did man things. First we sharpened all the axes and knives in the house. When we were satisfied they were as sharp as they were going to get, we sharpened them even more. Then we cut down a tree. A BIG one. After that, we changed the oil in the car. We didn't have a jack stand, so i just lifted the car up all by myself and Noah crawled underneath with a crescent wrench and a screwdriver and took care of the rest. He told me afterward that the alternator looked like it wasn't alternating correctly, so he altered it. Go figure. After that, we lifted weights. ALOT OF THEM!!!! You may not know this, but Noah can do 15 one-armed push ups and 80 pull ups. After our grueling workout session, we shaved. Noah first, then me. After Noah was done, I had to get a new razor because his stubble was too much for the Mach5. Its 5 titanium blades proved no match for his manly stubble. After we were clean shaven, we put on our finest Italian suits, and greeted the ladies at the door as they returned from their party.

    I might have left out the part about the warm milk, the playing with trains, and the nap we took together on the bed. We did that too.

    I'm glad Ava and Mommy had fun at the party! The last picture melts my heart. You can tell by her smile and the way she is turning away from her friends and towards her mother that she is in fact thanking her mom for such a wonderful afternoon.

  3. This is so sweet!!! I love the way you described the whole experience, Zarlacht.
    You know? Sometimes I get a little too anxious when bringing Zoe to a party or some place like this. I know that she will have fun, she always does in the end. But sometimes I am impatient with her for not being as mellow as I would like her to be, connecting with others, behaving like she usually does. Now that I am writing this, I realize that she is more shy than I imagined, only that she is so in a very special way, a way that doesn't "look" shy. Wow. I never got her right perhaps. I will try to make it a bit easier on her, by letting her choose sometimes how to do the social thing.
    I agree with Aaron about the last picture.
    And his comment? Like always... the best! He cracks me up with this one.
    And you know? I am pretty sure that Noah gave him the same look after that father-son nice afternoon.

  4. Aaron & Noah - I'm so glad you boys got to do a lot of manly things while Ava and I enjoyed a tea-party.

    Aaron - you have been making me laugh since the 6th grade - and it just keeps getting better - I love you!

    Julie - I completely understand! Thank you for sharing and agree with you completely on letting our girls choose on how to do the social thing... the best part of it is that we get to be there and share it with them... xo!


Thanks for sharing - I will respond to your comment here as well so check back! xo


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