Almost a year to the day from the first time that we gathered more than just myself and Mama around Nugget to sing her a song for her birthday, we did it again (strange how these things seem to happen on an annual basis). This time, we decided to go with a bit bigger of a production. Not too huge… after all, while Nugget is a huge extrovert, I’m not really, but it was a pretty pleasant gathering. We had family in from out of town, and friends from so many walks of life. Some were parents bringing their own little ones, some were just cool people in our lives, who wanted to come over, have some ice cream, celebrate Nugget’s turning two, and spend some time hanging out with all of us.
Of course, being that this was the birthday party for a toddler, there were presents to be unwrapped. She still doesn’t QUITE get the hang of the whole unwrapping thing, but she definitely gets the joys of gifts. After all, she gets to have more stuff to interact with. It also helps when an inquisitive, curious kiddo is swarmed with more books and craft supplies. She’s definitely got her favorites, but everything has seen plenty of love in the few days since we bombarded Nugget with friends, other kids (which created so much playing, between the sidewalk chalk, the balloons, the water table, and just running around inside the house), love, and ice cream.
As I sit and reflect upon the gathering, I’m struck by something very amazing, and something that is way more important than any of the shiny wrapped gifts that Nugget received. Whether it was people in attendance to celebrate the birthday of a little girl who still isn’t quite old enough to understand the concept of “birthday”, or people who have been there for us since the moment of her birth, whether it is people who are near and dear to our hearts and counted amongst our deepest and truest of friends, or people that we barely see but still feel joy at their presence, Nugget has an amazing group of people around her. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I do not feel any shame in having a sense of overwhelming pride at how incredible our particular village is. Nugget is surrounded by adults that are doing amazing things, and other children who are starting to figure out what amazing things they want to accomplish. She has the benefit of learning from strong women, and learning from men who are in no way threatened by a woman’s power. She has incredible friends to learn from, and an incredibly secure network that will allow her to test her limits and boundaries without judgement, only with the support to know that she will be picked up if she should fall.
When I think about how amazing my personal circle of friends is, and how it has become even more incredible over the years, I’m often floored. I’m not going to lie when I say that I often don’t know if I’m worth all of the incredible people I get to associate with on a daily basis, and I only hope that I can provide to them just as much inspiration as they provide to me, if not more. As awed as I am by this, I am even more awed by the support for Nugget, and the support that will undoubtedly follow her sibling as well. Not only will my children get the benefit of my friends, but they will gain all of the wisdom and strength of Mama’s friends. Even better, they’ll be able to take those basic building blocks into the world to forge their own friendships.
If all goes really well, she’ll even get the kind of friends that can be incredibly snarky and sarcastic to each other when the opportunity allows. She’s already got a sense of comedic timing, so that shouldn’t be too hard to imagine.
Just as long as they pick each other up when needed. And don’t drive me too crazy on sleepovers.