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Second time around

My younger child celebrated her second birthday today. I think it’s a bit hard to find the right tone for this particular age. The first birthday is always more for the parents than for the baby. By the second one, the child can understand that something special is happening, but still doesn’t have any expectations for the day. By three, most kids start to get the picture, and by four, they’ve been planning their party for the past six months.

When my first child turned two, we had a big party at the local My Gym. My husband and I (with the assistance of a pastry chef friend) worked for many hours to create an extravagent carousel birthday cake. Family and friends turned out in force. In part, I think we were all motivated somewhat by guilt – our new baby had arrived barely four weeks earlier, and the big sister was still adjusting. But the birthday girl took it all in stride, looking slightly more dazed than dazzled. We took a lot of pictures.

Today was a completely different affair. Chalk it up to second child injustice, but there was no big party. No grandparents arrived from out of town. No one stayed up all night decorating a cake. But my little one had a wonderful time, nonetheless. We baked a simple cake together, then enjoyed an afternoon out and about. In the evening, we frosted the cake, blew out the candles and opened presents. Simple and sweet. We took a lot of pictures.

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