13 Dec

Michaela turned 11 yesterday. ELEVEN! How is that possible?

Pre-birthday, Michaela was feeling bummed. She couldn’t have the party she wanted with friends at a paint-your-own-ceramics place. And the back-up plan of having a friend over for a sleepover and then a tea party in her treehouse ended up not working out, too. She wanted Uncle Michael to come over for lunch, but he tested positive for COVID, so that was also out.

Having a birthday in the pandemic sucks!

(I remember thinking back in March and April, when everyone was doing drive-by birthday parties that I was glad Michaela’s birthday is in December and she wouldn’t have to deal with that. Boy, how wrong I was!)

Anyway. The other thing that was on her list was having Cousin Maggie come over to hang out. Fortunately, we were able to make that happen.

Michaela woke up to a house full of happy birthday swag– banners and pom pom garlands and streamers and more. Our neighbors had chalked happy birthday messages on our driveway, so when she went outside to meet a friend who dropped off her favorite bagels, Michaela was surprised by those warm wishes.

Michaela requested I make savory breakfast monkey bread, which I obliged, and Maggie joined us for breakfast before the two of them went for a hike in the canyon behind our house.

She also opened a mountain of presents, which included two Nerf guns and hundreds of Nerf bullets (the kids on our street typically have battles, and Michaela hasn’t been able to participate), a meal-in-a-mug cookbook (Michaela’s obsessed with making mug cakes; now she can expand her repertoire), the new Wimpy Kid book, oodles of art supplies, several craft kits, a new scooter, and more.

My biggest concern was making sure Michaela had a good day. This year has been rough and I wanted her to know, pandemic or not, that she’s loved and that this milestone is worthy of celebrating. And, thankfully, that’s how it turned out. Michaela said it was a good day and that she really enjoyed herself.

At the end of the night, I told her that the fact that so many people has thought of her that day was a testament to her being a good friend and a good person. I told her I was proud of her for that. She replied in a sarcastic tone, “Aww, what a nice inspirational speech.”

The tween spirit is strong with this one!

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