Thursday, December 11, 2014

In the blink of an eye

Whew! Another birthday -  big one this time - double digits this year! It's always a challenge to come up with new ideas for the birthday parties - especially with the limited resources here in China. A couple of older kids have had scavenger hunts here in the past year - and I was thinking I would like to do something along those lines, maybe a little simpler - when I remembered a photo-scavenger hunt from a ladies party in Grenoble. Pretty simple concept - try to get a picture of as many things on a list as possible! Of course, back in France, the list was pretty crazy - but it wasn't too hard to come up with a kid friendly version!!

So, 12 girls, 4 teams, 30 photos to take - and an afternoon of outdoor fun! To make it a little more challenging, I had 3 'Mission Impossibles' - solve a math problem to get a house number, and then go to that house, solve another problem! The girls really got into the spirit of adventure, racing around the neighborhood, coming up with some really innovative photos! The real fun was later, when we saw all the pictures - of course, I had blithely declared that we would hook up all the iPods to our TV without actually figuring out how it would all work - lucky for me, my in-house knight-in-shining-armour came to my rescue - spending well over an hour figuring out the technicalities!!

In the midst of all the crazy party planning - I had a quite a few moments of nostalgia. As one of her gifts, Manasi had asked for a photo book made of only her pictures - no family, and definitely no pets! Well, that was good enough excuse for me to trawl through all my pictures - and do I have a lot of pictures!! Spent many teary afternoons at my desk, choked up with emotion, laughing and crying - each photo special, unleashing torrents of memories - and oh those videos, the gurgling baby, the babbling toddler, the sweet baby talk - and then a little kitten playing with my toes, a little puppy with the softest brown eyes - at one point, I wasn't even sure if I would be able to finish, but finish I did, and I have a gorgeous photo book to show for it - most definitely, the hardest and yet the funnest project I've done!!

10 years have passed in the blink of an eye - 10 wonderful, joyous years - 10 years of heartbreaking anxiety. All those laughter filled days, and then the sleepless nights. All those firsts - first smile, first word, first step, first tooth, first day of school. The skinned knees, the bedtime tales, the warm fragrant bath times. The wet sloppy kisses, the tiny hand in mine, the exuberant hugs. The non-stop chatter, the infectious giggles - and yes, the temper tantrums and the sulks!! And the best part - this extraordinary journey is only beginning!! So here's to Manasi - my little angel, my piece of heaven - a very happy 10th birthday!!

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