Sunday, July 8, 2012

Elliot turns Eight

Today the house is quiet.  The only sound I hear is the occasional tick of the coffee pot and the snapping of Lego bricks.  Sunlight is beginning to stream in through the eastern windows while traffic will soon flow in a steady rhythm of folks headed to church.  We are waking up with hair that sticks up in all directions, tired but happy after celebrating with friends. 

Spaghetti and Meatballs for everyone!  
Elliot took extra time to really think about his birthday wish.  I love that he is thoughtful and I hope his wish comes true.
Note to self:  two hundred water bombs are not worth the effort:  no one got wet during this water game!
Elliot is so thrilled with his gifts that his expressions of gratitude produce ear plugging and cringing. 
What party would be complete without a reenactment of Medieval warfare and the slaying of a dragon? (No one was harmed in the making of this scene)

Despite the heat, it turned out to be a wonderful evening. Everyone whom we invited came and there was plenty of food, drinks and fun.  While it was challenging to entertain two weeks in a row, I'm thankful that my husband understands my belief that building community is important for our family.  This year, we have all been blessed with great friends and kind neighbors.  Elliot is learning that hosting a party involves plenty of hard work and preparation.  He's also learning that a party is really about celebrating the people who have offered their friendship to us.  For the first time in his young life, Elliot really understood the deeper meaning behind any celebration. If it's your birthday, and you have friends to share it with, it's not really about you, or the gifts, or even the cake.  It's about the people you love and appreciate.

 Every year, after the party, we say that we are not going to host a celebration every year.  But his time, while the adults gathered on our deck, enjoying the sights and sounds of the children playing, we were already planning to gather again in the fall.  We imagined cooler air, a campfire and pumpkin carving.

To celebrate today, I'm closing this post with a few quotes.  Thank you friends and family who visit us here, who celebrate with us from far away.  You are appreciated and loved, just the same as those who are able to be here in person.

Melody Beattie: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

 Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Friendship should be surrounded with ceremonies and respects, and not crushed into corners. Friendship requires more time than poor busy men can usually command.”

Hafiz of Persia: “We don't need sugar, flour or rice or anything else. We just want to see our dear ones.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson: “I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.”
 Robert McAfee Brown: “How does one keep from 'growing old inside'? Surely only in community. The only way to make friends with time is to stay friends with people…. Taking community seriously not only gives us the companionship we need, it also relieves us of the notion that we are indispensable.”

Anais Nin: “Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back: a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.”

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