Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ivory is Five

Previous birthdays we invited all our our friends.  We had potlucks. We sipped beers and chatted while the hoard of children played in the background.  I anxiously eyed the weather forecast.  Her birthday day yo-yo-ing between sunshine and rain.  Our home is not suited to squeezing large groups of folks into, and this year it seemed the focus should be on the birthday girl. So I narrowed the list down based on her friends rather than mine..  hoped we would have sunshine and that everyone would understand...  and made invitations.

Ivory is five.

This birthday, more than previous birthdays, feels like a rite of passage.
Suddenly she is school aged.
She is enrolled in kindergarden and after this summer I will be dropping her off into the care of another for hours each weekday.  This is a change I can hardly fathom.  While I stitch the seams of her new touch-the floor-princess dress I worry about back packs, school lunches and if she will feel cooped up inside the four walls of a class room.

Ivory is five...  going on twelve.

A friend of her's had a Barbie Birthday Party, and she asked for a Barbie themed birthday party too - and Barbie dolls - I said no.  I'm struggling with sending her off to kindergarten I am definitely not ready for the tall, thin waist-ed  big boobed, over accessorized plastic toys that I would have to trip over, step on and pick up constantly. Ivory is five, and instead our house was filled with fairy winged girls and hatted gnomes. She from us she received (in addition to the princess dress) a pocket knife, a bike basket, a kickstand,  and new lego pieces. Barbie was never mentioned again.


Ivory is five.

The sunshine held - until all our guests arrived - and then it poured.  Magic wands were made around the dining room table.  Instead of gnomes and fairies frolicking around the garden,  the fairies and gnomes tore up and down the stairs, crawled under beds and played hide and seek.  We ate chocolate cake and Boston cream pie. Us adults still chatted and drank a few beers, but for the first time ever, everyone huddled around Ivory while she unwrapped gifts.

Later we forked macaroni and cheese.
Every dish in our house dirty, piled on the little counter space we have.  Beer bottles rinsed. Chocolate cake crumbles everywhere.
Only one gnome hat, one cape and one set of fairy wings remained.
We all crashed into bed early.

Ivory is five.

These are the patterns I based my party favors on:

Gnome hat pattern.
 - for the accompanying capes I simply made a half circle the width of the fabric.  For the neck I took out a smaller half circle with a 6 inch diameter.  I added a yard of wide ribbon on the neck for ties.
Fairy wing Pattern. 
- instead of using such a large piece of fabric I used 30" long pieces of fabric x half the width of the fabric.  That way rather than attaching at the wrists the wings attach at the elbows and are more fairy like (rather than butterfly like).   These took WAY LONGER than I had hoped.  If I where to do this again, all the kids would be gnomes.


  1. Sounds like the best birthday party ever!

  2. Very awesome! It will be a birthday she will always remember. And you know what, we, as parents, are never 'ready' for all those big steps our children take!!! I think, sometimes--maybe most of the time--those steps are harder for us than for the children....sometimes. Off to school....sometimes there were tears and, "MAAMAAA!!!". And then, all of a sudden, there comes the day when the next big step comes...you're waiting for the sigh, or "I'm kind of nervous", or "Do I have to, Mom?" And the confident child steps away, doesn't look back and a door to a building closes, or a group of friends envelopes your child, and you know that (while that hurts a little bit, too), your child is another step closer to making their own lives special. And that's nice, too!!!!

    The fairy and gnome idea is wonderful! I still love the idea of fairies...of course, they are always nice and beautiful, and we carry on happy conversations while we while in the garden! Or climb trees....ALWAYS! Gnomes are cool, too. But for me, the gnomes and I need evergreen forests, lots of moss, and, if not mountains, than steep hills....the kind where you need the long walking stick, and there are lots of berries to pick. I guess there's just not enough of that landscape here....

    Love, Mom

  3. Heidi, it seems like last week that your mother walked out our door and into another to go to kindergarten. She had been to two years of pre-school. Kindergarten was not yet part of the Oklahoma public school system so it was off to another "private" school. Was it operated by AAUW? I think so. Kindergarten, with its every day schedule,seemed a big step of separation. Then the years rush by and we watch our children open more doors for themselves. But our door always remains open for that occasional return "home". It may not be the same physical location, and it may not include all of the people who used to be there, but "home" is still there for your child, your grandchildren....
    Ivory did have a very nice 5th birthday party, didn't she? You are brave to do a birthday party and have little guests!