If I could have taken a snapshot of a perfect moment in time, it would have been on the afternoon of November 30, 2016. Apple had been anticipating her birthday having just seen what her sister's birthdays were like. She was napping. I was baking her birthday cake. The other three girls were making birthday cards. I looked up and realized it had been a perfect day. Everyone was happy, there was anticipation in the air, I was doing normal mom things and feeling an abundance of love for my children. It was perfect.
The plan was to celebrate Apple's 5th birthday one day early at an Italian restaurant with a large group of My Firefighter's friends that I've been slowly getting to know. Every Wednesday at this restaurant, they serve dinner family style to all who show up for just $5 a person, so these friends gather almost every single Wednesday. Birthdays and other celebrations occur on these Wednesdays and it's a great feeling of friendship. Because the other two girls had recently had their birthdays, people brought gifts for them, too. Even Jie Jie was included even though her birthday wasn't until February.
As a mom, I looked at this 5th birthday as the end of babyhood. My little girl was growing up. No more babies for me so there was an edge to my emotions that brought me back to all those sweet baby moments I'd had with Apple since she'd been my only baby.
Peeking into the bag of presents.
The main present was to have arrived in the mail, but had been delayed.