FIRST PUBLISHED MAY 24, 2015
Recently I realized all three of our granddaughters were born in months beginning with the letter J: Jain in June, Sofia in July, Olivia in January. And our soon-to-be-born grandson, lest he arrives ahead of schedule, will be born in June, too. The J months. These cousins ought to form a J babies club of some kind!
The beauty of Jain and Sofia having been born in June and July is that we can celebrate with a combined birthday party when they visit every summer. Some of those parties have been all-out, gloriously fun-themed ones with guests; others have been quieter, family-only affairs. Both kinds are eagerly anticipated and joyful, and it really doesn't matter to either Jain or Sofia so long as everyone has fun.
The first year the girls were both with us for the summer, Jain was 8 and Sofia 4. It was a delight and a blessing having both of them here and I wanted to make their birthday party one to remember. At the time, unicorns and fairies and all the magic they bestowed were a big topic of conversation. "The Last Unicorn" was one of their favorite movies (and if you've never seen it, you really must — it's a treasure!), and we often went unicorn hunting, searching diligently for the elusive creature on our hikes and walks. A unicorn theme was perfect for that summer's birthday party!
I ordered unicorn party supplies and decorations online, tailored games to be unicorn-based (Pin the Horn on the Unicorn was a hit and caused a lot of giggling when they saw where they'd all placed the horn!), and had a dear friend bake a beautiful rainbow cake for the girls. They and their party guests went on a scavenger hunt, made unicorn crafts, played unicorn Bingo with pink and purple M&Ms, and had a contest to see who could create the most beautiful unicorn with streamers and ribbons. They even bestowed magical unicorn powers on their great-grandma by decorating her hair with the curling ribbon from their presents. Mom was such a good sport and loved every minute of it!
Oh, but that rainbow confectionery masterpiece was "the icing on the cake" — pun intended! I found three unicorn figurines, two with fairy companions, to place on top of the cake. We kept it well hidden until it was time to sing "Happy Birthday." Once seen, their expressions were priceless. And when the cake was sliced, well, don't you know when unicorns sit on a cake they make a rainbow appear inside! WOW! AWESOME! Best. birthday. cake. ever!
Yes, that year the birthday party was definitely a hit. In other summers, the actual party has been downplayed because we've celebrated their visits with trips to New England, Washington, D.C., the Jersey shore and Columbus, Ohio. Two years ago, we combined their birthdays with the birth of our nation and made patriotic-themed desserts for the occasion. No matter how we have celebrated our grandchildrens' birthdays, it's all good. Most of all, they love spending time with family.
This year Sofia will be 9 and Jain 13. 13! A teenager! When did this happen?!!! And it's the last of the single digit years for Sofia! They're growing up so fast! Hardly babies anymore, but still looking forward to all the wonder and magic birthday celebrations offer. I knew I had to make this year's celebration a special one.
Knowing how much Jain and Sofia love music, and especially tunes from the 1960s, I decided to go with a '60s-themed party this year. I had wanted a blacklight party, but that proved to be too difficult where we're holding the party so we scrapped that idea. Instead, we will play the girls' favorite songs of that era, decorate with psychedelic posters and decor, and make s'mores (which they had last year for the very first time). I have some other things planned as well, but cannot divulge too much in case the girls read this post! Sorry, Jain and Sofia, but you'll just have to be surprised! Because Dandy and Grampy love surprising you, and making your birthdays so much fun! After all, we specialize in being fun grandparents!