Normally her birthday is on Halloween, which is just an altogether cool birthday to have since it could be taken just so many ways and provides an instant excuse for a party well into adulthood. In fact, more so for adults - for kids, having a birthday party on Halloween is just one event too many and would just be a distraction from the main event of cruising up and down the neighborhood in search of candy.
So today was it.
We made reservations with one of the local hotels for the use of their pool, since Lauren thinks that the main reason hotels exist is to provide pools and she wanted some of that action for her big day. And since swimming in October in Wisconsin is such a rare treat, we couldn't say no to that. Plus, we figured we could let the kids swim and splash until they wore themselves out, and someone else would have to clean up. Bonus.
We didn't count on the hotel giving our reservation and room away to a much larger party that wandered in off the streets about twenty minutes before we got there. There was much earnest discussion on this point, with Kim successfully keeping me at least six feet from the hotel desk at all times, and eventually they did comp us the whole thing and provide us with other rooms. So it all worked out in the end. Certainly the girls didn't mind.
Other than that, things went about according to plan.
We drove over to the hotel with a visibly vibrating Lauren in the back seat, unloaded our stuff into the room eventually provided, and headed straight for the pool.
Lauren and her guests spent a pleasant hour and change careening wildly around the pool, dodging the other party and visiting the hot tub. Did you know you can make beards out of Hot Tub Foam? Live and learn.
There was cake and gift-opening. Lauren insisted on a bakery cake, which is not something she has ever had. Bakery cakes are not nut-free, pretty much by definition, so they have been off limits around here. But Tabitha agreed that she would not mind homemade cupcakes, not one bit, which was very generous of her. So Lauren got her cake - a fancy one, with horses on. Not sure where the horse thing came from, but it made her happy.
And now, for all practical purposes, Lauren is seven.
I have no idea how this happened. Every year around this time I look at her and I think, "Wait, how did she get so big? How has she changed so much and I haven't changed at all?"
But she has, and I have, and that's not such a bad thing, really.
Happy Birthday, Lauren!