Asher’s Ninth Birthday

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My beautiful sunbeam, my little pirate king, my wizard, my imp, my healer, the song of my heart and laughter embodied—my Asher Donovan is 9! My sweet boy had a birthday on the last day of January. He asked for a Labyrinth party.k2-_03b88201-873f-45f8-9f40-e8682d75aab3.v3

Asher and Ian had watched Labyrinth together the day after David Bowie died, and the film captivated our son. And so, for the first time, he had friends over to watch a movie with us—a 30-year-old movie starring a beloved 69-year-old rock star who just passed away. (Farewell, Starman!)

Our invitation to his Waldorf school friends included a link to the Common Sense Media website’s rating and review, so families could decide whether their kids were ready for this 1986 PG film. To my great surprise, every child we invited was allowed to come.

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With many demands on my time and a determination to take this one easy, we spent just a little time the day of the party decorating with items we already had. We were trying to suggest a labyrinth with symbols from the movie in this table centerpiece.

Centerpiece for Labyrinth birthday party

Weirdly, we only borrowed two glass globes from grandma, which used to be curtain rod finials, I think. All of this other weird stuff was already in our home! CitiBlocs served for labyrinth walls nicely!

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Asher enjoyed setting up more labyrinth decor on top of our cubbies, and we found assorted gargoyles and knights in armor and chess pieces to be labyrinth denizens. The kiddos arrived and we set them down to watch the adventure of Sarah, baby Toby, Jareth the Goblin King, Hoggle, Ludo, Sir Didymus and loads of lovely Jim Hensen Creature Shop puppets.

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What’s funny is that nearly all of our nine guests had previewed the movie with their parents, and so they simply could NOT stop talking throughout. “Watch this! Watch this! They fall into the bog of eternal stench!” “Don’t worry! She gets her baby brother back.”

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After the movie, Asher’s friends gave him loads of wonderful presents. Art supplies, books to read, sketch books, games, Legos. Just what an enterprising and artistic 9-year-old needs. Thank you cards are still forthcoming—please, nobody hold your breath.

Labyrinth birthday dessert. He didn't want a cake this year.

Asher didn’t want a cake this year. He asked for ice cream instead. We served it with graham cracker labyrinth walls, sprinkles of the children’s choice, and gummy “goblins.”

Muppet Goblin Lollipops

We thanked our guests and sent them home with goblin lollies I made with stuff on hand. They’re more like muppets than goblins, but whatever.

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The next day was Asher’s actual birthday. This is the very picture of a modern 9-year-old full of vim and vigor, silly jokes, giggles, bounces, mad skills, mercurial moods, and dimples. I can’t possibly explain how much I adore this child.

He got even MORE pressies from Mom and Dad: a beautiful book called Tolkien’s World: A Guide to the Peoples and Places of Middle-Earth, exactly the type of magical book that Asher creates in his many sketchbooks, with maps, monsters, battles, runes, weapons, etc. We gave him the much anticipated sequel to Nnewts by Doug TenNapel, and the first two Secret Agent Jack Stalwart books. Plus Legos. Chima, naturally.

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We had a lovely birthday breakfast—Asher’s choice was pancakes and strawberries, with eggs. (They all suffer my camera with much patience, see?)

Asher's first viewing of A New Hope 1/31/16 A privilege of 9-year-olds
Finally, that afternoon, we gathered with friends for another party: Asher’s first viewing of Star Wars: A New Hope. Turning 9 is a little coming-of-age moment in our family, you see. We made Lucas wait until he was 9 to see Star Wars. A few years back, we threw a surprise party and watched the movie with him and a bunch of friends. Well, we couldn’t quite make this gathering for Asher a surprise because he’d heard all his life about Lucas’s 9-year-old Star Wars party.

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To our great delight, Thomas and Jami hosted a viewing party in their comfy home and we all enjoyed the film anew on a big beautiful screen. (Gosh, it’s beautiful!) Asher laid on a Tauntaun sleeping bag, naturally, and we had three Storm Troopers in attendance. I’m so grateful for this moment.

I’m probably going to sound like a crazy woman here, but this film means something to me. This first Star Wars film was a seminal cultural moment, a point when the world shifted. It’s the hero’s journey, it’s loyalty, friendship, good versus crystal-clear unambiguous evil, spaceships and hyperdrive, our first (and only, for a long time) badass princess, robots, cowboys with laser guns. What’s not to love? But it was also the FIRST exposure we had to this kind of mythic storytelling on the big screen. It fueled our imaginations, our games, even our career choices. It inspired our generation’s favorite brand of entertainment. Our children may not love it the same way we do, or connect with it the same, and that’s OK. They have sooooooo much to choose from; theirs is a world where any story ever made is available at any time. They’ll have their own myths. But for us, as children, watching Luke, Han, and Leia face down Vader and his terrifying goons was important. Somehow, for me, it still is important. And we just had to share it with Asher, hopefully at the moment he can best appreciate it (nine year change and all). OK. Enough of that.

Custom-made resin blaster. A hade-made birthday gift to Asher from Sandy. It's his first toy gun.

Jami bought Asher a huge Storm Trooper figure as a present. Jaleen brought him a Darth Vader bionicle. There were other gifts that passed by before I could even take note (sorry). And Sandy, dear Sandy, handmade this custom blaster for Asher. She cast it out of resin, I think, and hand-painted it. It’s beautiful and he’s over the moon about it. (My rules about no gunplay in the house still apply.)

There you have it. An unforgettable birthday for a one-of-kind precious boy, who might just be the luckiest boy in the world.

And He’s 8

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This is my beamish boy. He turned 8 at the end of January. In the past I’ve tried to write letters to my children on their birthdays, but this year I’m struggling to keep up with all of my responsibilities. So, I’m just getting to this now.

This is my Asher. My sunbeam. My giggle. My fresh breeze.

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Asher is all I could ever want in a son. (And I can absolutely say that about both of my sons.) Asher is brave and honest, mischievous and fun-loving. He is kind and giving, and willing to pitch in. He’s a fierce warrior for justice. He is strong and righteous, but also sensitive and easily embarrassed. He is well-loved by everyone he meets. He is precious beyond all things.

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Lately Asher has had a series of brief illnesses. Several colds and a stomach bug. Nothing serious. His asthma is being well maintained, so that’s a relief. But he’s had illness after illness and it’s resulted in quite a bit of time at home with me. And while I hate when my child is sick, I do kind of love those quiet moment of cuddling and reading, working on my laptop beside him while he rests on the couch. I guess he really likes that kind of at-home time, too, because he’s been having a hard time coping on the days he’s been well enough to be at school. We seem to keep starting over. Just when he kind of gets his feet under him again and starts feeling comfortable with the school rhythm, he comes down with something new. Then he must reintegrate again. This means tears, feeling sad and lonely at school, missing mommy. He’s being supported by teachers and staff, and I couldn’t hope for a more loving environment for him. Little by little we’re bolstering him, helping him through his anxiety.

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He was in a pretty good place recently—just in time for a two week spring vacation. He was delighted to have his free time at home, with his favorite playmate Lucas and the neighborhood boys to knock around with during vacation. He likes his days easy, and prefers not to be told what to do with his time. (I can relate.)

Loves #8yearold #birthday #celebrations #family #love #boys

Anyway, I’m jumping back to January now: Asher’s 8th birthday was wonderful, full of friends and family and a visiting Bacon dog. We had his party at the indoor swimming pool like last year. Swimming in a heated pool at the end of January is a treat!

My friend Criss helped me fulfill Asher’s birthday wish: He wanted a cake depicting the Hungarian Horntail and the arena from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. No small order there! But Criss is a baking genius, and when I told her his wish she amazed me by saying, “Sure. We can do that.”

And we did.

Hungarian Horntail dragon in a rocky arena with golden egg, inspired by Harry Potter IV (vanilla cupcakes). Criss was the genius who sculpted the dragon body. I got to make the wings.  #friends #community #learning #gratitude #birthday #celebrations #8yea

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And he loved it. He even ate a bit of the gum paste dragon later on.

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He dodged the camera all day #8yearold #secondgrader #birthday #celebrations #beauty

I think the party was a big success. And I think this boy is the bees knees.

Home sick again

He teaches me something new every day. This week, since spring break ended and he went back to school, has gone better than I expected. Monday was a bit rough, but he seems to be more quickly getting back into the school rhythms. There’s nothing in the world like a happy Asher.

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I love him so!

 

Happy 12th Birthday!

12 #12yearold #birthday

May 1

Dear Lucas,

I love you, my happy Beltane Boy. Happy birthday! I asked  you on the morning of your birthday last week if you feel any different and you said no, but I can see a kind of relief in your face. You’ve finally made it here. All but one of  your classmates are older than you and you’ve finally caught up.

Ready for his 12th birthday! #12yearold #birthday #spring #waldorf #home #family #traditions

We celebrated in our usual way, with a special breakfast, flowers, your old birthday crown, which you gamely wore for a few moments. We gave you a few gifts in the morning and then sent you off to school.

Magic card protective sleeves.

Birthday/Beltane roses

By your report, it was a great day!

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And in the evening, we had a special dinner: you requested fettuccine Alfredo, Brussels sprouts, Caesar salad, and a very chocolatey birthday cake.

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There were a few more gifts, including this Magic The Gathering set. In fact, it was pretty much all Magic this year. It’s what you’re most interested in, most fascinated by.

Birthday party #waldorf #birthday #spring #friends #12yearold #sixthgrade

On Saturday, we had a bunch of your buddies over for a party. You rode bikes and Daddy fixed burgers for everyone, and we watched a superhero movie. You wanted ice cream sundaes for dessert. Magic, Magic, and more Magic. Your friends were very generous and I believe you said it was “the best birthday party ever.”

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There is so much I could say about the person you are now, yet I find whenever I try that my words come so short. You are a delicious mixture of competence and forgetfulness. You are physically strong and possess great endurance, yet you need more and more fuel and rest to support your growing body. You are wise and witty, sarcastic, and sometimes worldly, yet you dance into fantasy almost as easily as ever before. You are challenged every day—don’t think I don’t see it. Each day more and more is expected of you, and most of the time you square your shoulders and step forward bravely. There is more pressure in life and school this year; you are game to take on new things and often embrace a certain stoicism when it comes to things you don’t want to do. But at the end of the week, I can see that you are tired and really need to relax, rest, and play. Your possessions matter to you, except when you completely forget about them. You are working hard in school, and your work shows it. You are helpful and kind, and a good big brother, when you aren’t being provoked. You are still artistic and sensitive. You possess so many delightful contradictions. You exhibit such striving, beauty, and grace. You are the very picture of 12.

And I couldn’t possibly love you more.

 

Imperfection and Joy

There’s a lot of that going on around me and inside me. I have had so many great posts brewing in my mind lately, but have managed to get exactly none of them onto this blog, for lots of reasons. I wanted to write about Earth Day, and about our first trip to the SCA, and so many other things. I have been otherwise occupied with important things, though beyond work and family and service to others, I’m not sure I could tell you what they were.

At the moment, I’m sick, although I feel a bit better than I did yesterday afternoon, when I was feverish and achy.

Yesterday was my sweet son’s eleventh birthday, and I can tell you it did not fall neatly into “perfect” like I had hoped.

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He, too, was sick and stayed home from school for two days, including his birthday. This was disappointing because one always gets special attention on one’s birthday. I felt so bad for him, missing that opportunity. So, yeah. Imperfect. We managed to give him his gifts in the morning, and before I got ill I cooked him a special breakfast.

Ian came home from work for a while to stay with him when I went out. They finished watching “The Two Towers,” which is something they can do only when Asher is not at home, so there were a few perks to the day. But no cake and ice cream. No dinner out at the restaurant of his choice. We improvised the best we could. Ian went out for take-out Chinese food and brought home ice-cream sandwiches for the boys.

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He woke up to this—a cool new mountain bike with 24-inch tires and, like, a 100 gears or something. 21? And his collection of dragon books grew considerably.

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Grandpa gave him a nifty LEGO Darth Vader headlamp. You know, for reading under the covers late at night.

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So while this birthday didn’t meet my expectations, it was OK. It was imperfect and still joyful. Eleven is rather mature, I’ve decided. Although Lucas was sad when we took his temp and told him he couldn’t go to school, he adapted to the new plan of staying home relatively quickly. He understood when I worked a bit during the day. He understood when I napped. He understood when I collapsed on the couch at 5 p.m. and started mumbling with fever. He took it in stride. There were plenty of snuggles.

And as the day wore on, I was well mothered by my sweet children, who told me they were worried about me, and wished I was feeling well. It’s so wonderful to see how they express care and concern and empathy for me at times like this. It makes me feel like we’re doing a great job in raising them. (Thank you, Ian, for doing all the heavy lifting of the evening.)

I’m glad that Lucas is well again. He trooped off to school today, with his violin and a big box of homemade chocolate chip cookies to share with his class in celebration of his birthday. (I’m grateful that I made those on Tuesday night so they were ready to go this morning.) And I am home today, recuperating, with some opportunity to reflect.

I’m sure all of this “perfect” silliness is all in my head. I’m the one with the major expectations. I wanted to post yesterday about May Day. The fact that Lucas’s birthday is on Beltane has elevated this holiday to one of my very favorites. This is a busy, beautiful time of year. The flowers, the celebrations, the handsome, growing boy—to me they are all so life-affirming and glorious. I feel alive and in love with everything at this time of year. Normally.

But things don’t go perfectly, and the trouble with expectations as we all know is that they lead directly to disappointment. I’m learning to live with imperfection. It’s not easy for me because I. Want. Things. Just. So.  But I am learning to take pleasure in little things, year by year. It seems to be one of my great lessons in this life. And so I look. And I listen. And I learn a little more. And I find all the joy I can in all these many imperfect moments.

Happy May, my friends. I’ll be back here again soon. Until then, enjoy.

 

Another Sixth Birthday Gift: Earthbender Costume

My new baby: Janome New Home Christmas present from my mom and dad.

My parents bought me this awesome sewing machine for Christmas. It’s my third machine. I am still learning and I’m kind of hard on them. (For the record, two of my sewing machines work and one of them is a perfect learning machine. I thought I might let Lucas take it for a spin.) But this new one—this Janome New Home—is all mine. (Besides, Mom gets nervous whenever I go near her Bernina.)

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Back in December I conceived of giving Asher an Earthbender costume, inspired by one of our family’s favorite shows, Avatar the Last Airbender. Asher has always been fondest of the Earthbending skill, and when he plays at “bending,” he is always an Earthbender. Maybe it’s because green is his favorite color. At first, I thought this costume might be a Christmas gift, but then I realized it was more appropriate for his sixth birthday.

So I bought a mini gi. (Actually, I bought two. The first was too mini.) I know my limitations and I realized I could spiff-up a gi more efficiently than I could make one from scratch.

Dyed Earthbender Costume in Progress

I spent a day last week dyeing the top green and the pants and belt a taupe color. Pale yellow would have been nicer, but that wasn’t an option when buying dye.

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My mom and I carefully picked out some fancy trim, and last night I got my new sewing machine out and put it to use. I even changed the needle to a denim one, to go through all the layers of the gi edge! I read the manual and everything! Amazingly, my boys slept through my sewing.

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I cut off the sleeves and sewed on this gold and green fringe. I wanted the costume to look like a cool martial arts gi, but not exactly like a karate uniform. I have one day left before Asher’s birthday gift will be presented to him. I’m presently debating about whether to use the sleeves I cut off to make wrist bands or a headband. I hope to decorate this final item(s) with the Earthbender symbol.

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Today I spent the morning in Asher’s kindergarten class with him, to help celebrate his birthday at school. His teacher told me that yesterday she asked him what he wished for. He said he wished for infinite wishes, and for a closet full of costumes. A CLOSET FULL OF COSTUMES!

Maybe I actually have made him the right birthday gift. … Or maybe he won’t wear it at all. That’s also a possibility. If he does like it and wear it, I’ll be sure to get a photo.

Anyway, there’s just one hour left in this Circle of Moms Top 25 Creative Moms contest. Here’s the button to vote for me. My gratitude goes out to all the wonderful friends and readers who have voted for me daily over the last two weeks. Thank you for the support and for helping me get into and stay in the Top 25! Voting closes at 4 p.m. PST on 1/30.

Thanks again!

Nomination and Other News

I was recently nominated for an award of sorts at Circle of Moms. Some kind soul (I don’t know who) nominated my blog for the Top 25 Creative Moms list there and folks can vote for their favorite blogs. The voting continues until the end of January and you can vote for more than one blog, once each 24 hours. I’d be honored if you’d vote for me, and keep voting for me. It would be very nifty to get into that Top 25 list.

This button takes you to the voting site. Vote for me!

I’ve never been involved in one of these things before, but there’s always a (typically awkward) first time, right? It’s neat because I’m planning to ramp up and improve my attention, involvement, and content here. So please check back often for new, more useful material. A girl with a writer’s soul just has to write. And a girl with an artist’s eye just has to share her visions.

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In other news, my little guy turns six years old in two weeks. I’ve finally figured out the outline of his birthday party and sent invitations. Usually I’m more on top of things like this, but I’ve been working quite a lot lately. Well, we’re getting RSVPs back now, so that’s great. Crisis averted!

I’ve got a few homemade gifts in mind for him, and must carve away some time to work on them. I am making Asher an Earthbending costume, inspired by Avatar the Last Airbender, which is a show that my whole family adores. Great story-telling, good characters, plenty of heart, and featuring themes of friendship, commitment, duty, forgiveness, family, courage, peace, and finding one’s own way, Avatar is good TV. Asher has always liked the Earth Kingdom in the show the best. He has started dressing up for play in recent months, finally using the King’s costume I made for him two years ago. I think this Earthbending outfit idea is a winner.

Yesterday we scouted the location of his “Fantasy Wizards in a Forest” party.

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This place will fit the bill nicely, I think! This is a is 17 acre undeveloped park right here in Fair Oaks, just five minutes from our home. It features tall, beautiful eucalyptus trees, a tiny creek with mossy banks, green meadows, fallen logs, wild mushrooms, and plenty of crisscrossing paths that you might call “trails.” Our plan for the party is to allow the children as much space to roam and explore as is safe. The park is big enough that it feels wild, but not really big enough to get lost in, and I expect a small gaggle of 6- and 7-year-olds to make plenty of noise.

Wishing you a bright and happy day!

40

Poppies

A lot is going on right now and I’ve not had much time to write. I had a birthday this week and it got me ruminating. Here’s some of what I’ve learned in my 40 years. (Some of these say “you,” but they all mean “me.”)

1. clean something every day, even if it’s only your hands

2. read to your kids; it is food for life

3. mothering well is largely a matter of knowing what things to get excited about, and what not to

4. wine is wonderful

5. smiling makes you feel good and it’s free (sometimes I forget this one)

6. make a place for butterflies and birds in your world; you won’t be sorry

7. stuff is only stuff; it all wears out eventually

8. beware of modeling beeswax in the laundry

9. tell your story, but don’t get so caught up in telling it that you forget to live the next chapter

10. children are resilient; however, test this only with careful discrimination

11. make your own meaning, don’t swallow anyone else’s

12. read poetry; read everything

13. when you fuck up, breathe, and then start over

14. being married to your best friend is ideal

15. try new things every day

16. exercise is good for me even if I don’t like it

17. fashion is stupid—occasionally fun, but stupid

18. it feels good to help people

19. somehow, time can both fly and drag—at the same time

20. words can indeed hurt

21. onions and Brussels sprouts are actually delicious

22. sing more, dance more

23. be your own beautiful freaky self out loud; if you don’t you’re cheating everyone

24. avoid the pink aisle and boys need dolls

25. sometimes the best course of action is to set it on fire

26. vote

27. gardening is cheaper than therapy

28. feminism benefits everyone

29. art is important, and more important to make than to consume

30. boys are actually sweeter than they want you to think they are

31. love and kindness is all the religion I need

32. equality for only some is no equality at all

33. find your cause; better yet, find a dozen of them and get to work

34. miracles are everywhere and often go by the names of “humanity” and “nature,” “life” and “science”; as such, they are no less miraculous

35. making it often feels better than buying it

36. I cannot “do all the things”; nor should I try to

37. a whole lot of things that bother me today won’t matter a bit tomorrow, so I should just chill

38. I am still learning

39. friendship is as necessary to me as air

40. my ultimate career goal is still philanthropist

May Day 2012

Woven Ribbons

Good Morning, Mistress and Master,

I wish you a happy day;

Please to smell my garland

‘Cause it’s the First of May.

 

A branch of May I have brought you,

And at your door I stand;

It is but a sprout, but it’s well budded out,

The work of Nature’s hand.

—from A Child’s Seasonal Treasury

Maypole Ribbons

Happy May Day! Today is one of my favorite days of the year because May Day celebrations are so beautiful and full of flowers and because it is my older son’s birthday. This year feels extra special because Lucas is turning 10. A decade of our lives has been spent loving and raising this beautiful boy.

Beltane Birthday Boy: 10

He is magnificent and I love him so!

Asher’s Jungle Birthday

Finished Jungle Birthday Cake

Asher had a birthday recently. I’ve gone on and on about it because—well, because I love celebrating and I think he’s the bees knees. Here are some shots of his jungle birthday cake and the party we had with his friends.

Finished Jungle Birthday Cake

This cake was so much fun to make. The most time-consuming part was baking two separate cakes in three containers: two round cake pans and one large pyrex bowl. It took me a while to figure out what to do with this, but I ultimately decided I wanted to have them placed next to each other, with one being higher than the other two. Then I realized I didn’t have any kind of serving platter big enough to do that, so I went out to the garage and found a big piece of particle board. I wrapped the top in green paper and voila!

These plastic toys are Playmobil toys (plus a mismatched hippo) that Lucas got as gifts years ago. He never much cared for Playmobil and they come with a gazillion pieces, so these were packed up in the garage as a someday/rainy day toy set. They came in very handy for decorating this cake and I think they made it look spectacular.

My real stroke of brilliance—the part I’ll take credit for—was using the veggies to make it look jungly. I went round and round my local supermarket looking for candy and cookies and things that I could use as jungle plants and trees. I didn’t find much. Then it occured to me that the best way to do plants would be to use plants. I bought one bunch of dino kale, one pot of living wheat grass, and one bunch of parsley. Oh, and a pineapple, mainly for it’s spiny top. I worried that Asher might freak out when he saw veggies on his birthday cake, but fortunately the jungle animals distracted him and he seemed pretty awed by it.

Finished Jungle Birthday Cake

I used the Waldorf birthday cake recipe and a chocolate zucchini cake recipe. I used store-bought frosting in a can, and used Wilton brand food dye to color it. What’s kind of weird is that the sand colored frosting changed to light green when we were at the park for the party.

Parachute Games

Anyway, it was a jungley party at the park and the weather was perfect. The five guests plus older siblings ran about like crazy and played on the play equipment most of the time. Ian took the kids on a jungle expedition through the almond orchard that is adjacent to the park and then they played parachute games.

Parachute Games

Parachute Games

Parachute Games

That was tons of fun. We ate sandwiches and fruit salad and ants on logs. Asher got some fine presents that he’s excited about and all the kids got an animal mask and a plush animal in their goody bags. I wish I had a picture of them—Lucas painted an animal on each goody bag and they were beautiful.

Asher and N

All this started with Asher wanting to be a monkey at his birthday party. Alas, we had no monkey mask. But he was quite taken with the zebra, so the crisis was averted. Here his is with one of his best buddies. It was a great success.

We came home afterward and prepared for Party Stage Two, which was just family and was lovely.

Birthday Traditions and Gifts from the Waldorf Kindergarten

Birthday Book from Kindergarten

On Wednesday of last week, Ian, Lucas, and I got to spend some time in Asher’s Red Rose Kindergarten class. We got to participate in the morning circle time and then the teacher put a golden silk cape on him and a golden crown with a golden star on it. She then told the story of Asher’s life so far. It went something like this …

Once there was a star child playing in the starry gardens of the sky with other star children and his angel guide. One day, he looked down and saw a beautiful blue-green marble glowing down in the sky below him. He saw children playing in the woods, flying kites while beautiful waves crashing on sandy beaches, and babies snug in their mothers’ arms and thought to himself, I’d like to go there. He told his angel guide what he wanted to do, and the angel replied, “Yes, you may go down to the sparkling world. I will go and find you a mommy and a daddy, who will love you and take care of you and welcome you into their family.”

Then the angel guide came down to the earth and found a mommy and a daddy who loved each other very much. They were ready for a baby to love, who would be a brother for their son and a cherished new child in their family. And so the angel guide helped the star child slide down the rainbow bridge into the welcoming arms of his loving family, where he could learn, and play, and grow, and be himself.

{Teacher leads Asher around the circle, asking the blessing of the stars (other children, who make hand motions showing their blessing), the sun (more children blessing as he passes), and the moon (more children blessing Asher with hand motions. Then, she leads Asher to walk on a rainbow cloth and he crosses and comes to my lap.}

His family named him Asher. When he was an infant, he drank mama milk and grew to be healthy and roly-poly. He was a happy baby and he laughed all the time.

{Teacher rings a bell and places it on a gold star on the table. There are five stars on the table.} When he was one year old, he learned to crawl and visited Mama Ocean. He felt the sand in his hands and on his feet.

{Teacher rings a bell and places it on the second gold star} When he was two years old, he learned to walk and talk. He giggled a lot, especially when his big brother was silly. He went on an airplane with his family and grandparents to an island far away and met some sea turtles.

{Teacher rings a bell and places it on the third gold star} When he was three years old, he went to preschool and made many new friends. He sang and painted and played in the garden, helping to plant the seeds. He also camped in the desert and saw many colorful things.

{Teacher rings a bell and places it on the fourth gold star} When he was four years old, he enjoyed visiting the woods and the beach very much. He played with his brother and joined the Red Rose Kindergarten, where he made many, many more friends.

{Teacher rings a bell and places it on the fifth gold star} And now that he is five, he is very alive. And we are celebrating Asher’s birthday. {Teacher lights a special beeswax birthday candle that I decorated for him at the beginning of the year. All the children sing a birthday song to him.}

Asher was then given two gifts. One was this beautiful book full of birthday drawings from his classmates and his two teachers.

Birthday Book from Kindergarten: Mrs. L's Drawing

This is Mrs. L’s drawing in Asher’s birthday book.

Birthday Book from Kindergarten

This is a drawing from a sweet classmate.

Asher opened his second gift, his very own handmade House Elf. This doll is about 8 inches tall and features a tiny star on the top of his hat.

Gift from Teachers (House Elf)

Asher has named him Miko, and played and played with him this week.

Although Ian and Lucas went to work and class, respectively, I stayed in the Kindergarten for the whole morning. I got to interact with beautiful children and see Asher play with his friends. I got to guess the names of some kids’ Little Ones (small Waldorf dolls that each child has as his or her own special friend).  During snack time we ate oatmeal and the strawberry fairy cakes I baked. We played both inside and outside, did clean-up chores (with each child accomplishing his or her assigned job), and I watched entranced as Asher sat in teacher’s lap and played the lyre, while his classmates rested on the rug. Seeing 18 children lying quietly for 10 minutes or so was nothing short of miraculous. Finally, we ended our beautiful Kindergarten day by going for a walk into the woods all the way to the great fallen oak tree, which my boys and I call the Bee Tree because there is an active beehive in a hole in the trunk of the tree. It is a good 15 feet in the air because the tree roots and branches are propping the trunk up high, like a great archway. It’s a magical place and I love it there. The children climbed the great tree’s branches and then played tag until it was time to walk back.

Asher and I left school then and went to have lunch together.

Is it any wonder that my little son feels so secure and nourished in this school environment?

 

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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I'm Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2017 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    "Love doesn't just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new." —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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