The big birthday morning started at 5:30AM, when we reluctantly crawled out of bed to inflate balloons. James filled them and I balanced on the bed, collecting floating balloons and tying on ribbons. I think we were both hoping to go back to sleep once this chore was over, but Little Smith seemed to know it was his day and wanted to get it started early.
We collected the balloons in two giant handfuls and entered his room singing Happy Birthday. He was still half asleep and totally baffled... then completely fascinated... then utterly delighted. The kid loved it and hasn't stopped asking about the balloons (which he still calls 'ah-dn') ever since.
He didn't want to leave his birthday crib, so we let him play and watched the sunrise before turning him loose to play with his new easel (and the many other toys from family... I can't believe there is another holiday coming up).
Our celebration was pretty mellow, especially since we had driven home from New York the evening before; lunch with friends followed by a cake-ish. The truth is that I just didn't have time to make a proper cake, and I actually shed a tear or two over it. I know it seems like a stupid thing to beat myself up about, but for me the cake is the heart of a birthday and I definitely wanted to make Little Smith one every year. I just had to accept that I can't always accomplish everything I'd like to. Parenthood is slowly teaching me that lesson.
Instead we bought a fruit tart from Whole Foods, which was a hit with our fruit lover, and just enjoyed an evening by the fire with some deflating balloons. It was a very sweet welcome to the year of two!