Can you remember a distinct moment from each year you have been alive? It’s kind of fun to try. Last year on Natalie’s 19th birthday, we sat in our garden in the dark and lit a candle each time Natalie remembered something from each of her 18 previous years. The 19th candle was a wish, which is secret. It was such a lovely ritual, we plan to do it again tonight. (Last year she made a list, so this year will be much easier.) Here’s her list:
Age One: The feeling of looking for blankie upon returning home with the blankie song: Blankie, blankie, where-o-where is blankie?
Age Two: Second birthday party on the very sunny back patio.
Age Three: Being parted from Daddy on my first day of nursery school. It was all okay once the teacher gave me a doll.
Age Four: Stepping in a stinky, smelly, yucky little hole at the park while wearing my favorite magenta suede shoes.
Age Five: Falling asleep in my car seat on the ride home for the first few months of kindergarten, with blankie, of course.
Age Six: Going to Japan for the first time.
Age Seven: Being in snow for the first time in Palm Springs.
Age Eight: My handwriting improved dramatically this year.
Age Nine: Wednesday Waltons nights (old television series watched on DVD), including dinner at Ayara (favorite Thai restaurant)
Age Ten: My favorite summer: a trip to Santa Rosa where we stayed at an old hotel and went ice skating, helping to film Mysterious California as Daddy’s camera assistant, going to Cambria and discovering the Harry Potter series, our trip to Rankin Ranch.
Age Eleven: Train ride from Portland to Los Angeles in November. In March, our trip to Yosemite, including a hike to Mirror Lake followed by the best lunch ever at the Awahnee: French onion soup and a milkshake.
Age Twelve: First year of homeschooling, including our trip to England and the construction of Applewood Schoolhouse.
Age Thirteen: Going to see Letters to Juliet with Maddie and having lunch by ourselves, which felt very grown-up.
Age Fourteen: First year at Vistamar School, including being selected to represent my humanities class at the end-of-year debates.
Age Fifteen: Travelling to Paris and seeing the Eiffel Tower lit up at night.
Age Sixteen: Junior year of high school, my favorite year.
Age Seventeen: Getting into Pomona College!!!
Age Eighteen: First day of college.
She made a secret wish last night when she blew out the candle on her cake. Recipe for my easy-peasy chocolate cake here (I halved the recipe for a single layer): http://twointhemiddle.com/2012/07/17/pamelas-simply-rich-chocolate-cake/