Somehow, five years have passed since little Eleanor was born. Today we celebrated Eleanor's birthday by doing whatever Eleanor wanted to do (dangerous, I know). Her requests were not too outlandish. We ate cantaloupe for breakfast. We did a craft while Charlotte took her morning nap. We had lunch at the mall, followed by a carousel ride and ice cream. Eleanor wore her new birthday dress. We watched a princess movie during rest time and then made cookies. When Matt got home from work, we gave Eleanor her gift: a bicycle. Then she went riding. We had tacos for dinner at her request. Then a bubble bath, opening some smaller presents, reading a new book and bed.
I love the simplicity of her requests and the delight that she found in our activities. I love that Ben and Jerry's has colorful sorbets and frozen yogurts that catch Eleanor's eye. Today's ice cream was pomegranate sorbet. I'm pretty sure Eleanor shared with Charlotte on the way home.
Our apartment is still a wreck. There are dishes to be washed, laundry to be done, floors to be swept. My bags are still packed from our recent travels. I am exhausted, but Eleanor is happy. This year has not been an easy one for her. The adjustment to having a sister was more difficult that we expected (and we didn't expect it to be easy).
Every time I have to explain all of my medical history to a new doctor they almost always respond, "You are lucky to have two healthy children." I am lucky, or blessed. My pregnancy with Eleanor was not easy. There were insurance issues, hospitalizations, stress, anxiety. She was born purple with her cord tightly wrapped twice around her neck. She had a heart murmur. She didn't latch on well. She lost half a pound in the hospital, weighing only 5 and a half pounds. She was tiny. Now she's a child. She sings arias in the courtyard and helps scared children at the park. She loves to paint and thinks Perpunzel is the name of the girl with the really long hair in the fairy tale. She's scared of starting school and can give you detailed reasons why. She can do simple math, understands prime numbers and asks the most profound questions. She makes us laugh, cry and scream all in the same minute. I am lucky. We are happy. Life is better than I could have imagined it.