While Stand Firm struggled with server trouble, we spent the day partying. Elphine, Alouiscious, and Romulous went to the pool early so as to be out of the way, while I and my mother took Gladys and went gathering and hunting for birthday presents, icing, whipping cream and a tub of ice cream. Elphine is So Old (7) that we didn't even consider a toy store for this expedition. We went to a book store and gathered up a lot of beautiful and loved books that she is finally old enough to read as well as pretty cards and note paper, fancy pens, swirly stamps and a very soft white baby owl (family inside joke--so great that she's old enough for that as well).
As the day went forward, I discovered something. Four babies in, I relish the mundane physical tasks of caring for small children. Changing them, dressing them, brushing hair, putting birthday cake on the table, sudden baths for bubble covered infants, evening bible story...I feel settled, suddenly. IMAGINE if I had stopped with beautifully perfect Elphine, one of the most perfect babies ever there was.
Now she is basically graceful, except when she crashes into the furniture, interested in interesting things
and still very beautiful.
Believe it or not, she arranged herself in this way and then called out for someone to find a camera and take a picture of her.
Late in the day, while we all sat around and watched the sippy cups washing in the dishwasher, many of us crying, Alouiscious discovered that there are still 274 days until his birthday. "That's TOO MANY" he wailed. Yes, it is, but they'll go so quickly I probably won't be ready when it arrives.