Well, we survived Emma's sixth birthday on Saturday!
There was a big party, with a total of 11 children. We had it at the gymnastics academy where both Emma and Kate take lessons, and it was a blast. All of the kids seemed to have a great time. They got 50 minutes of gymnastics with a coach and they loved it. I was surprised that even the littlest ones (Kate and Ben, both 3) joined in, though it did take Kate about ten minutes to work her way up to it.
After all that exercise, we went into the 'party room' for pizza and birthday cake, both provided by us. We had 40 minutes for this part of the party, and I totally underestimated how long it would take for the kids to eat. I had planned on playing a few games and giving out prizes, but there simply wasn't time. In the end, we had to rush Emma through opening all her presents and then I just handed out prizes to the kids as they left. The party had a "Finding Nemo" theme, so everyone got a favor box filled with all sorts of cool things, including a stuffed clownfish, toy starfish, fish squirter, etc. Emma got some great presents from her friends, and she had the best time.
When I asked her later what her favorite part of the party was, she exclaimed all in one breath - the pit! the trampoline! the bouncer! my friends! the cake! the pizza! the presents! Finally, she just said 'the whole thing' was her favorite.
It's so hard to believe she's six. In many ways, we often forget how young Emma really is because she reads junior-high level chapter books and slips away from her First Grade class to join the Second Grade for math every afternoon. We have to remind ourselves frequently that she's only 5 (well, 6 now!), that emotionally she's still a kindergartner, and that despite her own inner drive, it's important for her to be in this moment. We try not to let her race too far ahead. Now that Emma is six and Kate is three (and will be starting preschool in the fall), I realize more than ever that I too, need to be in this moment.
Six is a cusp, and I'm proud to stand hand in hand with my daughter, laughing at Nemo "touching the butt" (watch the movie, if you haven't, and you'll understand), reading books together, teaching her to knit, and finding room to store her endlessly creative art projects. In her I see the baby that was and the child that is becoming. This is a great moment.