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Birthday Discoveries

posted Mar 6, 2017, 1:08 AM by Kanika G   [ updated Mar 6, 2017, 1:42 AM ]


The older one turned 5 a few days ago. I can't believe it has been 5 years since I first gave birth. Yes, yes I know this is supposed to be about her, but hey, I did endure 16 hours of labour and survived to tell the story.


Besides, my birthday is just a few days before hers and we often celebrate together. Papa and I have never been much for birthday parties. My older one has grown up to believe that birthdays are always celebrated with family, at home or at Mainland China.


So this year, when she went for some of her school friend's birthday parties, she was surprised to discover that birthdays at Mainland China is not a universal rule. We talked about how we would celebrate this year and she asked for a birthday celebration at the beach. I love the beach too and I was totally on board.


We booked a room at a beach side hotel in Mumbai, and set off this weekend. After a fun hour a the 2 feet deep hotel pool, we set out for the beach itself at 4:30.


The girls had a grand time making sand castles. The little one, certainly, has got over her fear of the dirt and sand and now revels in it. Papa got her a pail of water from the sea and she made some sandy watery slop that she proceeded to apply all over herself with great concentration. The the older one and I got Papa to hold down one end of a skipping rope in the sand, and we stretched it out and used the other end to trace out a huge circle on the beach. The older one got a compass from Santa for Christmas and has been drawing lots of circles, but this was on another scale all together!


Papa is not a big fan of the sand but he loves the sea. Although the girls had conquered their fear of dirt and sand, they were still a little scared of the sea. So they played in the sand while, Papa made frequent trips to the sea and back. Finally I urged them, to join Papa in the sea. The first attempt was unsuccessful. Even before two minutes elapsed, they were dragging me out saying they did not like it. The sensation of the sand receding under their feet, made them really uncomfortable.


So they played in the sand again for a while. But then they saw Papa in the sea again and wanted to join him. This time I told them to splash the water with their feet. It was fun for them, and reduced the effect of the receding sand sensation.


It took a couple more attempts, but then the older one was quite comfortable taking a walk in ankle deep water and then in knee deep water. The younger one remained apprehensive a while longer, but she cant watch didi do something and not do it herself. So, soon, she too was enjoying a walk in the sea. The 4 of us held hands to form a chain and walked for an hour up and down in ankle deep sea water. For me this was the best part of birthday celebration, admiring the sea and its waves, enjoying a walk with my favourite people, and watching my daughters overcome their fears.Finally we watched the beautiful sunset before returning to the hotel eager for dinner.


But the next morning had its magic moments too. We set out for an early morning walk to the beach and encountered a laughter club. They were so contagious, they set me off in to one of those giggling fits I used have as a kid.


This time the girls were quite comfortable with the sea. The older one was collecting shells and the younger one collected stones. A little while later, my in laws joined us at the beach because we would soon be cutting a birthday cake. My father in law showed me how to bounce flattish stones off the surface of the sea, an activity, somehow I had completely overlooked in my childhood. It was fun and we spent a good half an hour indulging in it. Just goes to show that at 34, we are not too old to laugh and play like little girls.


The birthday celebrations were concluded with a cutting of the Winnie The Pooh cake with both sets of grand parents and a super breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes and cheese fondue.


I am so thrilled that, at 34, I still enjoy birthdays as much as I did when I was 5!