Yesterday, my spunky, vibrant, nurturing, loud, and beautiful little girl turned 5-years-old. This past year has been a challenging one for Beau. I have watched her bright light, dim, while she wrestled with anxiety, and lost herself for a little while. With a lot of love, support and encouragement, her spark has been relit, and a confident little lady is re-emerging.
We have always given Beau’s older brother, Holden, fairly big gifts for his birthdays. He thinks big, and knows exactly what he wants. But when we asked Beau what she wanted for her birthday, it was simple: bubbles, craft supplies and anything green, (her favourite colour).
During the last year, our active Beau has found a new passion, creating. She has the most incredible imagination, and her teachers were raving to me recently during my in-class visit, that she is so talented. She will build and craft the most imaginative things.
I must admit, I hadn’t really noticed. I am so busy with all of our kids, that sometimes, I can miss these budding interests. Holden has always been into drawing (like I was as a kid), but I don’t think I really realized, not just how much Beau loves doing crafts, but how much it feeds her soul.
So, after a lot of thought, Mike and I used part of our date night last Thursday to shop for Beau. But our biggest surprise up our sleeves was to create a craft studio for her. We have an unfinished basement where Beau had a craft table. But it was always a mess and there was zero organization. I wanted to create a space that was hers and where she could let her imagination fly.
So we used an old Ikea bookshelf and desk that we had, and went to our local dollar store and bought tons of green bins, and went nuts with the craft supplies.
The morning of Beau’s birthday though, was a bit of a gong show. Beau woke up bossing everyone around, melting down constantly and being downright mean. We hadn’t even given her her big surprise yet, and she still had her birthday party in the afternoon.
I gave Beau a talk, letting her know that when she woke up that morning, no one put a crown on her head and said she could treat everyone around her like garbage. This wake-up call seemed to work. After adjusting Beau’s mood and expectations, as well as opening a few presents, we finally revealed her craft studio to her.
It was a massive hit! We have not seen Beau or Holden since the reveal.
That afternoon, and after Beau spent a lot of therapeutic time crafting, we were ready to head out to Beau’s party. I had hired a babysitter to stay with our twins, (who were too young to take and keep track of all of the other kids).
Although I occasionally go all-out with our kids’ birthday parties, I decided to book Beau’s party at an indoor trampoline park. We had gone there for Holden’s birthday in June and it was great. The pizza, cupcakes and even loot bags were all provided, which saved me a lot of time and stress.
I was a little worried that Beau would start melting down, shy away from her guests, and cling to me like she did at her cousins birthday party the week before.
But I was relived when I saw Beau’s cousins and friends take initiative, holding her hand and wanting to play with Beau.
In the end she had a blast, and I am pretty sure she wasn’t the only one…
It is so wonderful seeing Beau enjoy life and develop new interests after the year we had with her. Watching your once vibrant child loose their way can be heartbreaking as a parent to watch.
Although I am beyond exhausted today, I am thrilled that Beau was able to enjoy a really special day with the focus completely on her. Happy Birthday Beau!
To read more about Beau’s struggles and triumphs this past year, read: I regret having our daughter visit me in the hospital after giving birth.