Well, well, well, we now have two double-digit kids in the house! C turns the big 1–0 today.

A birthday divisible by five means you get a big party in our family, and C cashed that in on Saturday. She had five friends over for the requisite pizza, cupcakes, and then a very special spa evening.

After a week of thorough cleaning and a couple well-placed tarps on the floor and against an especially grungy garage door, our garage was magically transformed into a nail salon and spa. C and her five buddies put on robes and flip-flops (which they all got to take home), drank Mocktails in fancy glasses, and read Teenie Bopper magazines while S, one of C’s aunts, and M all took turns giving them foot baths and massages and then painted their toe and finger nails.[1] It was a pretty hilarious site, especially since a couple of the girls invited aren’t very girly. One mom told me earlier in the week that she couldn’t wait to see how we got her daughter to sit still and get her toenails painted. That kid ended up having a great time, although she probably enjoyed the girly stuff a little less than the other girls.

The girls also pleased us immensely by spending a good portion of the night trashing Justin Bieber. They all had balloons and began writing things like “I Hate Justin McButt” on them. Not the most lady-like behavior but I approve of their disdain.

C is right in that sweet spot where I don’t have to change much what I say about her in my birthday posts. She’s still our most emotional kid. She is the big dreamer of the three, to the point where she works things up in her head and if they don’t happen exactly the way she wants them to, it turns into a disaster. She’s the sweetest of our girls, but also the most frustrating. She operates on a completely different kind of joy than her sisters. No one giggles more, or more genuinely, than her. And her special blend of silliness just kills you when she’s wound up. She has 1000 different interests and struggles to stick with one for a long time, which reminds me of myself at her age. We laugh when people who haven’t known her for long say, “She’s your quiet one, right?” I suppose she is, but that’s just because she’s the most reserved in public.

I’ll be honest, she’s the kid I worry about most. Her impulse control has always been an issue. She gets herself worked up over minor setbacks. She also lets her frustrations get in the way of success. I fear how she’s going to deal with peer pressure later in life.

She’s our fashionista, our artist, our Buddy the Elf who stays up until the wee hours working on “projects” when she should be sleeping.

She drives us crazy with her mood swings and the messes she leaves in her wake. But she melts our hearts with her many thoughtful gestures. It’s hard to believe she’s been with us for ten whole years now.

  1. As house photographer I was busy taking pictures and occasionally keeping water from getting on extension cords.  ↩