My Essie turned two last week. Two! Her sister Millie gets quite defensive on Essie's behalf if ever we dare utter the phrase "terrible two" and, truth be told, I've never really liked it anyway. So, no terrible twos here, just TWO! And we had fun celebrating with two little parties. One on her birthday, briefly, with two candles stuck in a couple of snickerdoodles and a handful of gifts from us, her immediate family. Then, on the weekend, we got to include Grandma and Uncle and some of her favorite neighbors and, of course, that was a hit as well.
At the first birthday babies don't really understand what the big deal is, they just kind of go with it, eyes wide. As they get older, they start to have Great Expectations and there's always the danger of something falling short (but, really, does it ever?). At the second birthday, though, you pretty much can't go wrong. Presents? Awesome. Candles? Awesome. Balloons? Awesome. Attention from a room FULL of people? Awesome.
Last year we started a tradition for Essie of having her party guests sign her tablecloth. After the party and before the tablecloth was washed, I embroidered over the signatures. We'll use the cloth each year and each year she'll get more signatures, embroidered in a different color, a record of her friends and loved ones who gathered to celebrate her birth. There are a few things I'd have done differently with this project had I thought about it further ahead of the first birthday. For instance, I used a table cloth I had on hand, a pale pink jacquard thing. It's really too textured and loosely woven to be either easily written on or embroidered. Something smooth and more firmly woven would have been better, but...oh, well. Also, the first year everyone included sweet messages and well wishes and that multiplied the time I had to spend embroidering exponentially. This year I asked for names only. I'm liking it so far and I can't wait to see what it looks like in five years. In ten years. Covered with the names of her people. Her tribe, her village...some of whom we probably haven't even met yet!
In the meantime, here's a snapshot or two (and I apologize for the quality of these photos, oy. The light is not great today and I also did not feel like ironing the cloth out of the dryer only to fold it up and put it away for another year. So, bad light and wrinkles, but you get the idea.)