Maia Turns Four

It’s never easy sharing your birthday with a holiday, but this year I think it really worked to Maia’s advantage. We celebrated her fourth birthday the day after Thanksgiving and I think it was pretty special, at least I hope it was for her.

It’s hard to say why this particular birthday felt like such a big one. As always, I have to check myself and see if I’m projecting some of my own stuff onto my kid’s experience, and in this case I sort of was. For me, turning four was a really big birthday because it marked the beginning of my constant memory. What I mean by that is that I remember bits and pieces of my life before four, but after turning four I remember just about everything, with few holes. So I think that’s part of why this seemed like a big birthday for Maia. Plus, Keana and Aliya have really been getting a lot of attention lately, so it was finally Maia’s turn in the spotlight.

The usual suspects were there for an early afternoon party—Tia, Cousin Olivia, Uncle Ryan, Grandma Jennie, Grandpa Robert and Nana Cin—but there was one special guest this year who came down for Thanksgiving and stuck around for Maia’s birthday, and that was my brother Peter. All the guests are special of course, but we see Uncle Peter far less, so it was a particularly special treat.

One really cute thing that happened that day was after waking up with Maia snuggled next to me, I said “happy birthday little Maij!” and she said, “it’s not my birthday yet! Not till the party!” I tried for a moment to explain, but then just smiled and let it go remembering having the same thought myself many years ago.

Maia’s favorite “special” meal is Chinese food, and she really had her heart set at going out to eat for dinner. Aliya was super tired and we didn’t think we could all go, so Sarah stayed home with Aliya so I could take Maia and Keana out to her favorite spot. It was kind of sad splitting up the team, and I knew it was really hard for Sarah to sit one out, but it was more important that Maia got her special wish on her birthday. I don’t think I had ever been out to dinner with just Keana and Maia, but it was fun. They are both so old and capable now, that it was really easy and we were able to all relax and have fun. The girls mostly played with the new toys while we waited for our food, and I just sat quietly and admired my amazing daughters, especially my big four-year-old.

And that was that. Maia turned four. It was great, we had fun, few regrets, and as always we’re left slightly out of breath, still amazed at the passage of time and all the wonderful things it brings along the way.