Tuesday, April 01, 2008
This past weekend, my niece Anna -- my first niece -- turned seven years old. She especially invited me to her party, which turned out to be a whole weekend of celebrating, and told me it was very important to her that I be there. I haven't missed a single one of her birthdays yet (something I unfortunately can't claim for the other four nieces and nephews), and I've been looking forward to it.
I still remember the day her mom, my beloved older sister, called to tell me it was time. It was so exciting, more so because she arrived 2-3 weeks earlier than expected! She was absolutely gorgeous from the moment we laid eyes on her. Even one of the doctors asked if she had been born by Cesarean section (her head did not have that squished, just-born look).
She has grown into a young girl with a vivid imagination, a curious nature and a compassionate heart. She is a delightful little person to be around.
In addition to her party, I was able to watch her rehearsal for her upcoming ballet examination and celebrate in style at a local Greek restaurant. The ballet exam that is coming up is very serious business, and these small girls have had to memorize each position of hands and feet and what to do at the brief announcement from the judge. It was very impressive and entertaining to watch.
The Greek restaurant was a blast! This is a neighborhood place that my sister and her family frequent, and the owner knows Anna well. There was also a belly dancer that evening, and Anna did an impromptu dance with her! I could see the ballet influence in her movements, and her face just lit up with the excitement of the spontaneous performance. At the end of the meal, the owner told Anna that in Greece, they celebrate momentous occasions by breaking a plate and asked if she'd like to break one. Her eyes got huge as she said Yes with amazement that she would be purposefully doing something that would be considered unthinkable at home. We all yelled "Opa!" as they threw the plate down together. Much giggling ensued.
It was a terrific weekend, and I realized I had as much or more fun than I do on some of my own birthdays!