Sunday, February 28, 2010

Happy Birthday

We recently celebrated Emmy's fourth birthday! Four years seems so surreal. I waited so long to be a Mommy and now my baby girl is growing way too fast.

As we begin another year, we celebrate Emmy's wonder at the world, her insatiable curiosity, her kindness to others, her creative spirit, her tight embraces and her warm smile. I celebrate four years of becoming the best Mommy possible thanks to the support of my family and friends.

Speaking of becoming the best Mommy...I must share two pieces of parenting advice that have made my journey so much easier. The first is to take a thoughtful pause when bombarded with what seems like endless questions. Rather than a quick yes or no, a thoughtful pause gives you a second to make a decision that you feel good about. This statement is heard often in our household..."Hmm. Let me think about that." The second is to remember that when things are falling apart, ALWAYS go back to loving connection. (Thanks to Bethany Prescott for these wonderful tips.)

I mentioned in a previous post that a book is given to Emmy on each of her birthdays. For her four year old birthday, the book A Birthday Cake Is No Ordinary Cake by Debra Frasier was presented to Emmy. Ms. Frasier combines earth science and baking and creates a birthday book unlike any other. A wonderful connection is made between the celebration of a birthday and the progression of a calendar year. I LOVE the way the author portrays a birthday cake as a symbolic product of a physical year. Ms. Frasier's illustrations pop off the page with vibrant colors that create beautiful collages which capture the fanciful and factual concepts contained in this book. The idea for the story came after Debra celebrated her daughter's first birthday. Frasier wrote, "She's finished her first circle around the Sun, and now she's one."

This book is extremely special to Emmy and me as it reminds us of celebrating a Birthday Circle in our Montessori school. The birthday circle is a wonderful ritual and so meaningful to the child and her parents. The Birthday Circle may look a bit different depending on the teacher, but certain elements remain the same. The birthday child holds a globe and circles the sun symbolized by a candle or a yellow sphere. As she walks around the sun, once for each year of her life, the teacher or parent tells the story of the child's life through photographs and words. Debra's book A Birthday Cake Is No Ordinary Cake is a wonderful complement to the Birthday Circle.

"At last, your cake is done! Let's light a candle for each time
you've circled the sun. We'll sing. You'll wish.
Then...we'll cut the cake!"


  1. Happy Birthday Emmy! What a joy a child is....embrace every moment together and treasure the memories for the future. Have a blessed 4th year little one and family too!

  2. I love the sound of this book. My youngest will be 2 next month and this might just have to be her birthday book too!