We celebrated Athena’s 5th birthday yesterday. Her birthday isn’t actually until Tuesday, but you know how family is — it’s easier to schedule everyone for a weekend, especially at this point in the holiday season. Athena was of course unaware there was anything going on; beyond the fact that we were holding her birthday on a day that was not actually her birthday, we’ve also never made entirely clear to her when exactly her birthday is. So when we leap up and scream “Happy Birthday!” at her, that’s when she knows. This is probably the last year we’ll be able to get away with this, since Athena now grasps the concepts of dates and months and such. But it was fun while it lasted.

If you haven’t read this already, here’s the letter I wrote to Athena when she was born. Time changes a lot of things, but in this case not the way I feel about my child. She’s still an unfathomably wonderful gift.