We had three celebrations last week: my birthday, Everett’s birthday, and Ella losing her first tooth!
I had a bit of an urge to get out of town for my birthday, so we traveled north to Fairfield, Iowa a small, funky, new-agey town in SE Iowa. It had been highly recommended by friends for its Green Building Supply store, quaint downtown shops, Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts, and ethnic restaurants. I enjoyed a cup of organic hot cocoa, a locally raised buffalo burger, and a trip into a few cute shops. It felt like a trip to the West coast, honestly, which felt like such a treat for me.
But the best part of the day was coming home to host an intimate birthday dinner with four of our friends. We ate amazing food (butternut squash soup, salad, stuffing), and had not one, but two desserts – a delicious chocolate mocha cake and a pumpkin pie. Good wine, lots of laughter. I had such a fun night.
Everett’s birthday is two days after mine, so I hurried to finish sewing his birthday crown and prepare for his celebration. Last year I went all out, knitting him a vest, picking out several toys. It was too much. This year, I selected one special gift, a wooden front loader, which he loved. His grandparents sent a few items that he loved, and Brian made him a beautiful black walnut cutting board.
One of my favorite birthday traditions is lighting the birthday ring, and as we come to each candle, telling stories from that year of his life. We also hang a special birthday banner, and the kids each have a birthday crown they wear.
The day after Ev’s birthday, Ella decided to take her loose tooth into her own hands and pull it out! I had been working on a tooth fairy pillow for her, but had not yet finished it, so back to the sewing machine I went! (Of course I did not get a single photo!)
Before bed, we read this poem, which I found on several sites online. (Author unknown)
This night it is a special night
As fairies dance upon the roof.
All the fairies must alight,
For _______ just lost a tooth!
The Fairy Queen gives her commands-
Twelve bright fairies must join hands
Then together in a circle stands
To guard _____ while s/he sleeps.
The Tooth Fairy into the circle leaps
The hidden tooth she takes
Ah, but has far to go
Before ______ awakes.
Three times around the world she flies
Over valleys deep and mountains high;
Skirts the storm clouds thick with thunder,
Wings over waves all wild with wonder.
Deep within their earthly homes
Finally she finds the gnomes,
Who upon the tooth must work
Never once their duty shirk.
Some are hammering, hammering, hammering,
Some the bellows blow
Others sweat at the sweltering forge
And then cry out, “Heigh Ho!”
The tooth’s been turned to a shining stone,
A glimmering, glowing gem
The tooth Fairy takes the gnomes’ good gift,
And bows (curtsies) to all of them.
Before the sun’s first rays are shown,
She returns to _____’s bed,
And then – – – away she’s flown!
When we were in Fairfield, I had found a shop that sold crystals and polished stones. I selected a beautiful Rose Quartz and placed it into her pillow, along with a gold coin. I had my reservations about doing the whole “tooth fairy thing” because I didn’t want to lie to her. But the magical look on her face when she discovered the stone, and the wonder with which she still speaks of it was so touching and special for me.
As we enter into the biggest celebratory season of all, I’m trying my best to keep in mind that simple celebrations and simple rituals are just perfect.