We celebrated our son Aidan Wolf’s birthday on Sunday. He was born on February 29 in a leap year, and this year the 28th fell on a Sunday, so Sunday the 28th it was.

His party was perfect.

We invited the six people we know here and three of them were unable to make it, but the remaining three, plus their kids, our two babysitters and the two additional kids one of our babysitters brought along, made for a nice buzzing afternoon gathering. The kids played together like a dream. No fights, no grabbing, toys strewn, plates, sippy cups and bubbles scattered, cats cowering in the den…perfect. It might have had something to do with our goddess babysitter Sandra, who presided over their activities like the conductor of the Philharmonic.

The interaction between the kids—all seven of them—was so easy, in fact, that the miraculous occurred: I was able to sit and have an adult conversation, with Alysia, an old friend from New York whom I rarely see, for what felt like a whole hour! It was, wow, what’s the word? Delightful! Unexpected! Awesome! And I even chatted a bit with the other adults there—new friends Alberta and Beth, our other babysitter Connie. Unheard of!

The food was also great. Harlan made his delicious lasagna and a big Caesar salad. We served hummus, crudités, olives, crackers with gorgonzola and fig jam. And then the coup de grace, a chocolate mint ice cream cake with a doggy on top from Baskin Robbins. The kids went bazonkers, especially ours. Aidan mowed through a first piece in maybe three minutes and then, with bright blue frosting-stained lips and a crazed look in his eyes, started shouting, “More cake! More cake!”

What the hell, it was his birthday! And the kid so rarely gets to eat sweets.

Needless to say, he bounced off walls till almost 9:00 that night. Between the sugar, the attention, the music (I made a party playlist that mixed cheerful songs from the Beatles, Coldplay, Belle and Sebastian, etc. with some of boo’s favorite kids’ tunes), the new Lego set, animal magnets and race cars, the balloons, the bubbles (he ate more than he blew, but he’s learned how to blow them himself!), and the post-party speakerphone convo with his Seattle grandparents and Skype one with his LA grandparents…the kid was ecstatic.

What more can you want? I think celebrating a child’s birthday at this age is so important. Each year feels momentous and magnificent, a huge achievement. I’m continually amazed by our little guy. He’s got tons of words and they keep improving (“nana” has become “banana” and “alli” is slowly morphing into “alligator”) and he’s begun moving into sentences (“Where’d Kati go?”). He counts (“1, 2, 3…5…8, 9, 10!”) and knows some of the days of the week. He sings along to “Old Macdonald” and our “Time to Tidy” song. He giggles like a madman and hides behind the closet door when I threaten to change his diaper or put on his coat. He throws his arms around me for no good reason, just to get a little mommy love… What else? God, every day he surprises us with something new. He’s become this incredible little person who’s sweet, loving, hilarious, whimsical, as willful and demanding as ever.

Monday in our Waldorf class, the teachers placed a beautiful blue silk scarf over our heads—boo stared up, mesmerized—and then wrapped it around us, while chanting about an angel delivering Aidan to the earth and how he has circled the sun two whole times now to reach his second birthday, and I became so moved and emotional.

These are the birthdays that deserve to be celebrated, and we celebrated in style. We honored our beloved son and the two years that we have had the great privilege to spend with him.

Aidan waits for his guests to arrive

The fun begins


One happy little birthday boy