Today we celebrated Aquila’s 8th birthday.
There was much discussion about what sort of party Aquila wanted. She knows what sorts of parties her friends have, but that wasn’t quite what she was looking for. She wanted fun, but she also wanted a sense of equilibrium more than a sense of excitement. Aquila decided that the best way to achieve her goal was to only invite her two closest friends (she’s known them both since they were all in utero) and her sister.
It was a good call. There are things you can do at a small party that you can’t do at a large party. I took the girls to Salta, a restaurant in our neighborhood, where the ambiance is great and the waitstaff are very patient.
Honestly, it was an absolute delight to take these girls out to eat. They discussed all sorts of topics such as odd things they believed when they were little, the importance of siblings, and the place of dolls in our lives. It was enlightening just sitting and listening to them, even though I spent much of the time keeping Sagitta from stabbing our guests with her fork, dipping lettuce into my water glass, and planting herself face first in my cannelloni.
After lunch we stopped in a the toy store and picked up nine balloons. One for each year, and one for good luck. It’s a lot of fun to walk down the street with a giant balloon bouquet. Aquila was wished many a mazel tov.
We returned home, called up Cloud Man on Skype so he could participate, and brought out the cake.
Here is the cake recipe. I made two changes; I add coffee instead of boiling water and I always freeze the cake before serving. I don’t know why freezing coalesces all the flavors into a more pleasing whole, but it makes a huge difference. Try it, you’ll see. And if you happen to know any food scientists, perhaps you can ask them why this is. Let me know what you find out.
After the cake, one of the girls had to go home, but the other remained and Savta read some books. Then the girls painted on glitter tattoos (Purim is coming!) while I had some Pungryu music playing in the background to maintain the relaxed atmosphere (follow that link; it’s worth a listen). Then when night fell we went outside and lit sparklers. The kids used them to paint designs on the darkness.
It was a very low-key birthday party, but it was exactly what was right for Aquila.
And then we hopped over to Beit HaGvinot to pick up some dinner. Nothing like a little brie to end a wonderful day.