Lessons from Brynn’s Birthday

Now We Are Six

When I was One,

I was just begun.

When I was Two,

I was nearly New.

When I was Three,

I was hardly me.

When I was Four,

I was not much more.

When I was Five,

I was barely alive.

But now I am Six.

I’m as clever as clever.

I think I’ll be six now,

Forever and ever.

A. A. Milne

Children teach us many things.  If we have the time to listen and observe, the lessons can be gently absorbed, enriching our lives beyond measure.

Today is Brynn’s birthday.  She is our youngest grandchild and I have been staying with her family while my daughter recovers from a serious illness.  The lesson for this week is:

How to really enjoy your birthday

  • LESSON LEARNED:  Get involved in the planning.  Brynn’s birthday has been the focus of her life since March arrived.  How many weeks until my birthday?  How many days?  What will I wear for my birthday?  Where will my party be?  Who should I invite?  Brynn has enjoyed every single moment of this process.  The plans have changed several times, the list of invitees grew to astronomical proportions, and the outfit has been decided on.
  • LESSON LEARNED:  Get others excited about things. Give out the invitations.  All of the girls in her class have been invited and several neighbourhood friends as well.  The RSVPs have been coming in and it looks like everyone is attending.  It seems like the social event of the Spring Season!  Every evening she tells us what the girls are saying about the party.
  • LESSON LEARNED:  Pay attention to the details.  Pick a location.  There are hundreds of places in the Ottawa area where you can hold your party.  Monkeying Around, Cosmic Adventure, Museums, the Mud Oven, MidWay Family Fun Park, local Grocery Stores, Gymnasiums, and so many more.  Each location was discussed and the pros and cons of each weighed.  The site was picked and the place reserved.
  • LESSON LEARNED:  Tie everything together.  Choose a theme.  Princesses, Barbies, Cars, Lego, Spiderman, Horses, Disney, Beach, and so many others to choose from.  Brynn picked Strawberry Shortcake.  The paper plates, cutlery, napkins, and party favours were purchased.  This is getting to be a military-type operation, but it’s all part of the fun for Brynn.
  • LESSON LEARNED:  Clothes are important.  For today, her actual birthday, Brynn has chosen a deep purple ensemble.  The bodice of the ballet-length dress is velvet and the full skirt is crafted of the finest organza.  Her little legs are clad in white tights with deep pink bows running down the sides and her white shoes have just the slightest heel.  The whole outfit has been topped off with a purple headband, holding back her raven tresses.  She looks adorable!  For her party, to be held on Sunday, she has to wear casual clothes as she will be at a local gym.
  • LESSON LEARNED: Enjoy every moment. When Brynn woke up today, she was all smiles.  Even though she knew what was coming, she was quivering with excitement.  She knew the “Happy Birthday” sign would be up on the kitchen wall, but she gasped in delight at the sight of it.  She had already asked her Dad to make waffles for breakfast but she was delighted to find them ready on her plate.
  • LESSON LEARNED:  Share the joy.  We all walked to school, carrying home-made cupcakes to share with all her friends.  They were delivered to the classroom and I know all the children will be having a yummy snack today.
  • LESSON LEARNED: Family is first. This lesson was learned from Brynn’s older brother, Owen.  He is incredibly happy for his sister.  He told her to listen during morning announcements at school for her name to be announced.  He told us how proud he would be to hear his sister’s name  because it is her birthday.
  • LESSON LEARNED:  Say thank you.  In yesterday’s mail Brynn received a gift from her Grammy and Grampy, and this morning she was on the phone thanking them.  She told them she had decided to call the doll Brynn.
  • LESSON LEARNED:  Enjoy the attention.  When Brynn got to school this morning, her friends all shouted “happy birthday” and sang to her.  She just smiled and put on her “birthday crown” and lined up.  You could tell she was going to have a great day.
  • LESSON LEARNED:  Keep looking forward.  Brynn was already looking forward to next year’s party.  Before she even experienced this year’s!  She wants to invite more friends.

Hubby is arriving later for the family dinner and more cupcakes.  The balloons are ready and the pizza ordered.  A. A. Milne’s poem, “Now We Are Six”, is printed out and at her place.  What a wonderful day so far.  I wonder what I’ll learn tonight!

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading.




Unscramble Me!!!

I am a very calm person, who rarely, if ever, becomes unglued.  Health scares?  I am a rock.  Financial woes?  Unruffled.  Flooded basements?  Unflustered.  Severe storms?  No problem.  Report card time?  Piece of cake.  Parent/Teacher Interviews?  Hah!

But, a matter has arisen that has me totally shaken.

I have a few good friends and many loving and lovely family members.  A few months ago, I was invited by Carla, my daughter, to play Words With Friends.  Little did I know that it was the thin edge of the wedge!  You know how it is – you start out slow, playing just to be sociable.  Before you know it, you are totally strung out on Triple Word Points or Double Letter, Double Word Points.  You’re constantly looking for your next fix, checking your iPhone several times an hour.  Soon you are looking for something more, something stronger, something more addictive!

Enter the fiendish game, Scramble. 

Scramble must have been launched in a terrible place, a place where hope goes to die.

Since I started “playing” Scramble, I am a total mess.  My eyesight is failing from staring at the tiny screen, and I’ve started to shake uncontrollably whenever I hear the “ding, ding” announcing that’s it’s my turn to play!  People who were my friends and beloved family members are hounding  me to play at all hours of the day and night.  When I close my eyes, I see letters and I start frantically unscrambling them, until I finally fall asleep and dream about getting my Scramble “fix”.  God help me, I have to do something, something drastic. 

Carla, Sue, Helen, Elizabeth, Monica, and all you others, I have to tell you something important.  On the advice of the woman I met at the medical office today, I have decided to go “cold turkey”.  NO MORE SCRAMBLE!!!  I’ll go through withdrawal, but I have to be strong.  I have to conquer this. 


Spring Has Sprung

Yes, I know this is Canada.  I know it is still early March.  I know that spring does not oficially arrive until March 20th.  I know that Winter could sneak back and bite us in the a**, BUT…

I hereby officially announce that in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Spring is here.

Every year, our family has an informal contest on who will spot the first robin of spring.  Now usually Daughter #2, Lindi, who lives in Vancouver, sees the robin first.  Second place would go to Daughter #3, Carla, , who lives in Montreal, or to me in Toronto, followed by Daughter #4, Monica,  or Daughter #1, Michelle, who both live in Ottawa. 

Since I was staying with Monica and her family, I decided to make a chart and get the kids involved in the “robin spotting”.  Well, that came back to bite me in the b**, because I quickly realized that I would have to give a prize to all  of the kids.

Monica, who is recovering slowly from pericarditis, an inflammation around the heart, spotted the first robin of 2012, on March 7, which is quite early.  It was an unseasonably warm day with high winds from the southwest and we figure the robins were borne in on the stiff breeze.  I don’t know if they even knew where they were.

Today is the beginning of March Break from school.  For once we can call it “spring” break and not sound like wistful fools.  The snow is almost gone and the weather promises to be warm (around 50º +) and mostly sunny. 

My Bermuda sister came for another visit and we went for a walk on our trail.  It was all clear and just beautiful.  Yesterday evening Hubby and I went for another walk on the trail and we found it covered with water!!!  We had to turn back!!!

But that’s spring!  Warm, cold, sunny, cloudy, rainy, snowy, SPRING!!!