Last year, less than two months into the U.S.’s pandemic experience, we kept Dinah’s birthday low-key at home. This year, we found ourselves again celebrating her trip around the sun under the constraints of the pandemic. Zach didn’t get his second dose of the vaccine until a few days after her birthday, one of his sister’s hadn’t been vaccinated at all yet, and of course none of Dinah’s cousins could yet receive the vaccine. We considered trying to have an outdoor, masked, socially distanced celebration with pizza and cake, but on the days leading up to her birthday the kids got sick. Poor Alden reached a fever of up to 103, and Dinah came down snotty-nosed and feverish the night before her birthday. All tentative plans were scrapped. We knew it was only a cold (we had six negative COVID tests between the four kids) but didn’t want any of the cousins to catch it and have to miss school and quarantine while waiting for testing due to being ill.
I had ordered a special bouquet of balloons for Dinah, just like I had for Alden on his birthday. Hers came with an adorable owl balloon. Unfortunately, her brother popped it within the first hour that we had it. At least I got a picture first.
We made a Jell-o dessert per Dinah’s request, and video called my parents while she opened her gifts. My parents gave her a really cool set that lets her build together all the different parts of a flower (made from plastic) and “plant” beautiful bouquets in endless combinations. It was an immediate hit with all the kids. Dinah had requested a “rainbow owl” birthday (inspired by her favorite stuffy, a rainbow colored owl from Grandma), and so of course received many owl-themed gifts. Zach built her a real owl box that we can hang in a tree in the backyard and hope the Western Screech Owl that sometimes spends the day in our cherry tree will make a nest in.
About a week after her birthday, everyone was finally healthy enough for that backyard celebration with cousins. We ordered pizza (one of Dinah’s favorite foods) and I finally made the rainbow owl cake she had been asking for.