I had my seventh birthday this weekend! I got to have a pop star birthday with my friends! I got to have a birthday party with my family. And I got to go to my friend’s birthday party today. And Mummy & Daddy took me to see Frozen again tonight!
There was no question what the underlying theme was this weekend: start to finish it was all about birthdays. And while most of it was Emelia-centric, we did manage to slide in a birthday party for the younger sister of Emelia’s twin best friends this afternoon as well as the birthday of a computer that changed the world. Suffice it to say, I have more than adequately crushed any desire for free grazing on cake, ice cream or cheese-only pizza for next decade.
The week for me started with the last two days of a seven day stretch at work. And while this was my own doing – I had swapped my ‘weekend’ to make myself available for a couple of meetings at work on Monday and Tuesday. They ended up not happening because of the blast of winter weather we got and come Wednesday morning I was really ready for a couple of days off to relax.
After my two day reprieve from work, I came back to work Friday on the 30th birthday of the iconic Macintosh computer. They had changed the windows at the store to reflect this landmark moment and we even got new shirts to wear for the next couple of weeks to commemorate the moment.
When I think what the Macintosh computer means to me, it brings me right back to the journey I am on today. Christmas morning 1983, 30 years ago the Teeter family opened a largish box that contained the very first of what would turn out to be many Apple Computers in our family. On that Mac I learned about digital art and typography, and one day landed a part time job in high school at our town’s newspaper because we were the only family with an Apple computer in town that had experience in using it – the same technology they used at the paper.
That part time job, eventually lead to one at University doing the same for the school newspaper while studying Visual Arts and Communications. Before I knew it, I was a full fledged graphic designer and then creative director and about 22 years into that career. Aside from the stint at the university for 9 months, I worked solely on Macs. They were the only computers I have ever owned, and the first and only I looked to when upgrading through the many I have owned.
And because I’ve thought about it a lot more in the last couple of years with my career change, that first Macintosh didn’t just give me a career path I could follow, it without a doubt changed my life. If we had never gotten it, I doubt I would end up seeing me on this journey where I have consistently had the opportunity to make people’s lives better. Nor might I have ended up having the opportunity to come full circle and work for Apple – the company it all started with back on Christmas morning in 1983.
Now… for the other event that changed my life in ways I am still feeling every day: January 26, 2007. It’s hard to imagine that here we are at Emelia’s seventh birthday, and yet as I always say, it feels like we’ve lived lifetimes with her in our short seven years together. So much of parenting I feel is appreciating the speed at which life powers by, and recognizing that when doused in happiness the moments seem to go on forever. And knowing when to just sit back, not sweat it, and savour where you are at. If there is anything I think Emelia has taught both Danielle and I, it is the not getting hung up and worrying about every little thing. And that’s possibly the most life changing gift you can be given.
As she develops and becomes much more independent, I am learning the virtue of being less the parent that needs to ‘do’ everything for her, and the value in letting her be the ‘doer’. The letting go is hard, but the tradeoff is a remarkable thing because now I get see this human being I am having a hand in shaping become her own self. And there is no greater joy in being a parent – especially Emelia’s parent – is seeing the woman she is working on becoming. Especially when you see the parts of you and your wife that you particularly adore coming out in her too.
We had a weekend full of ups and downs for her in terms of her behaviour which was not surprising in the least given just all that was going on. And I wouldn’t trade any of it in a minute because even the battles we pick I am thankful beyond a shadow of a doubt to be the one fortunate enough to be there at odds end with Emelia. I know these moments add up to the wonderful little girl taking shape before our eyes. And I am pretty certain she will process just like I did, how much her parents cared about her and loved her enough to be there in these moments.
When you one day stumble upon this journal of how you changed our lives Emelia, I want you to know that every word here was so that you could never doubt how much we loved you and how much more you made our lives complete. You may one day understand just why we see your birthday as a present to us, as much as you may see it as a present to your journey.
Happy seventh birthday Boo, I love you more and more with every moment we have!
As I write this we are enjoying the quiet after a weekend of amazing noise and excitement. The celebrations for our little girl started early and were plentiful. It is a reminder of how many people love her, cherish her for who she is and accept her as the creative, loving, painfully shy but when is in her comfort zone and given the time to blossom she is a full spitfire that takes the world head on with all the emotions of a now seven year old little girl.
I want to start this entry to thank everyone who made this weekend so incredibly special for her. From her teacher who gave her a special day on Friday, to her friends and their parents who showered her with love and amazing gifts, and to her Poppa, Grandma, and aunts, uncles and cousins who gave her a wonderful celebration last night, to my sister Charlie who took time for her crazy day working in Montreal to call her and wish her a happy birthday. She was certainly shown a ton of love from those who love and know her best. So thank you thank you thank you!
The entire week was a build to the big day, while fighting with a seasonal cold Emelia didn’t want to slow down and miss a thing. I tried to keep her home on Friday as she was hit pretty hard by the cold but with a birthday celebration at school there was no way I could keep her home.
Now anyone who knows Emelia knows she is VERY shy and she is also the child who hates being the centre of attention. She was not 100% sure about a fuss being made at school but with cupcakes in hand she loved the day.
We then came to Saturday morning and a little girl bouncing off the walls with excitement. All the plans were in place except the huge snow storm we got blasted with through the night and into the day. This changed things, we stayed home for the morning from her Saturday swim class but spent the morning preparing the house for the big party. With the storm lessoning we braved getting out and got the last minute things we needed for the celebration and made it home just in time for the party people to arrive.
And what a party they put on, I can tell you I will be using this company again in a heartbeat. They were incredible. They had the house ready and transformed quickly and ready to go with the first girl arriving. I was amazed how they quickly had the house changed to allow for a photo shoot area for the fashion show, an area for the girls hair to be done, the food all set and the whole house ready for the kids to have a BLAST!
I know this will be a party that Emelia and the girls will be talking about for a long time. The time flew by, we had 8 little girls hair all done, loads of pictures taken with Emelia and her friends, there was cake, ice cream, pizza, lots of presents and tons of giggles. Emelia was overwhelmed at one point in the day and had a major emotional meltdown that had John up in her room with her. She is so intense with her emotions and add in a weekend of parties, lack of sleep with a cold and you have the perfect storm for a drama moment (or in this case 30 moments). But the party planners went on without a blink and we kept the girls going while Emelia collected herself. She came down with apologies to her friends and then was right back in the thick of the party.
I am waiting to receive the USB drive back with the photos from the fashion show and really hope we got some amazing shots. It will be a party Emelia will remember for a long time and it was even more important to me that we got some pictures of Emelia with our friend Emma. As Maria (one of my longest term and closest friends) and her family are moving across the country soon and our times of getting together is limited. So I made sure we got lots of pictures of the girls together and I know they will remember this day for a long time.
With party number one wrapping up we were off to party number two. The Teeter family party. Originally this gathering was a joint celebration of the two granddaughters birthdays as Amy and Emelia’s birthdays are less than a week apart. But mother nature and a gastoral virus had other plans.
I had received a text from my sister in law Linda the night before that Aaron our youngest nephew had been taken down by this nasty gastoral virus that is going around. Some of their family had it earlier in the week and now Aaron had it. They were going to see how he made out and then decide if they were going to be able to travel. Well Mother Nature decided for them, overnight a big storm had hit and it made travelling impossible as there were a number of highways in the area that were closing because of severe snow and blowing.
Everyone was disappointed but we will get together with them again soon we hope once this never ending winter ends!
With a smaller group we arrived at Helen and Doug’s and had a great little gathering of family where there was again more cake, food, amazing company, presents and lots of love for our little girl. Emelia got her beloved dolls from her favourite movie Frozen and she was in heaven. It was a great end for our little girl.
Today we had another party, this time for one of our good friends and Emelia’s best friends (twins Anna and Grace) little sister Lydia who turns 3 tomorrow. We had another afternoon surrounded by people we care about, lots of laughs, more cake for the kids and lots and lots of playing. It was pretty well picture perfect!
I love the amazing person you are, I love the shy but sweet little lady you are, I love the little girl who is a full of energy spitfire, I love the little girl who makes me laugh each and every day, I love the little girl who reminds me so much of my mom because you love everyone so passionately, I love the little girl who reminds me of her daddy because of the amazing way you make me laugh, I love the little girl who reminds me to slow down and cherish the little things in life because before you know it life is changing. I love my boogie just as you are and wouldn’t change a thing about you! You are perfect!