I did not expect turning 32 to feel special in anyway, but I had seriously underestimated the power of a pre-schooler to make a birthday very, very special (with the help of her grandparents, who are particularly good at celebrating birthdays). In addition to being very excited for my big day, Grace was also excited for Noah's big day: his first day at her school! At The Nordic School children can start at 18 months old (this was the same in Nairobi...I guess it is standard in East Africa?) and today was Noah's debut. He will go every morning until 11:45 am; there is another Noah who is 2 weeks younger than our Noah and they are the youngest in the school right now. There are 4 teachers for 11 kids in his class (2 Swedes, 1 Dane, and 1 Norwegian). I stayed with him all morning. He was a little bit clingy to me, but he never cried, he participated in everything, and he ate very well. All in all, it was a great day for all of us.
A birthday gift to me: Noah slept until 7:15 am! Then he was VERY happy for his breakfast, and Grace was very excited that I could start opening presents.
Get your backpack on, buddy!
"Don't worry, buddy, I will take care of you," Grace told him. "I won't let anybody hit you."
And it's time to go!
Noah liked the rocking horses.
And found some babies to play with. He can even say baby!
He tidied up the cars before snack time.
And waited in line to wash his hands.
Then he sat down next to his friend from our summer playgroup, Helena (whose big sister is one of Grace's BFFs).
Grace found us playing outside after snack and was showing him how she wants him (and Karla from his class) to jump on the big mattress.
Grace also allowed Noah to play with her, Solveig and Ella in the sandbox. They were making a lot of food for a birthdayp (I wonder whose birthday it was!?) and she told her friends, "It's OK if Noah plays with us because he goes to our school now." But she also gave him strict instructions as to which things he was and was not allowed to touch.
At lunch time Noah sat next to one of his teachers, Heidi, with two other kids at his table. He ate pasta with a beef stew and bread. He was a good eater :)
And after he cleaned up his bowl, spoon, bib and cup, he was very proud of himself.
And he went outside to play until Grace was ready to go home.
I was so proud of him that I wasn't even too emotional about it...and we celebrated his big day and mine with pizza, cake and ice cream in the evening. I received many lovely gifts and more hugs & kisses than any Mama could hope for.