My baby recently hit a big milestone – she’s technically no longer a baby! She’s a toddler. Yes, not only did she turn one, but she started to walk! Crawling is still her modus operandi, but she grows more competent walking (and even running a little) each day. Furthermore, she has said a few simple words, is babbling incoherently, gesturing, using some simple sign language, and cutting teeth. It’s adorable, remarkable, and bitter-sweet. Like cherry blossoms, babies don’t remain so forever, and we must enjoy that innocent, transformative state as it swiftly passes by. My first year as a mother has been so magical and yet so hectic at the same time. With that in mind, we decided to forgo a big party. Bee has been experiencing stranger anxiety a lot anyway, and I don’t believe in adding extra stress to her or myself. It was her birthday and I wanted her to enjoy it as much as possible, even if she won’t remember it.
We decided to invite our most intimate family members and enjoy a picnic along the beautiful St. Lawrence River. I wanted to bring everyone to Grass Point Park, a lovely NY State park between Clayton and Alexandria Bay. It has a little sandy beach, plenty of picnic tables, and many trees providing much needed shade for sensitive baby skin. No need for extra decorations or party games. Don’t misunderstand me – I adore a party. If it has a theme or involves costumes, it’s even better! There will be plenty of time for whimsy and creativity, but this year has taken so much out of me. Bee’s first birthday theme was family time outdoors and the Three Realms. We played and ate in the shade of sacred trees. We rejoiced in the gift of sunlight from the sky. We waded in the river’s cooling waters. In the few moments that I was able to sit in silence and watch my family enjoy themselves (Bee absolutely loves being outside and playing in water), I allowed myself to take in the surroundings and revel in the peace. It was perfect.
And yes – there was even a little cake smashing.