You guys! Jessica is a teenager!
Of course you know that Jessica’s birthday is every April 15, but this one was particularly momentous, since she turned 13. We were able to celebrate on her actual birthday, since it was conveniently located on a Friday. Above is the birthday girl, wearing a hat her mother made.
We all convened over at the family estate for the birthday party, which was also the first party there this year. Jessica and I perched on a hay bale while she showed me her sketchbook, full of wonderful drawings and ideas. She opined that my name did not suit me, being “far too practical”. She thought I was more of a Fleur than a Susan, and I have to agree. Sorry, Mom and Dad, but I have always felt that I deserved a more glamorous name.
We unintentionally ended up with something of a theme birthday. Jessica is into manga and anime these days, including one called Totoro. Erica made a fantastic Totoro themed cake:
which was deep, dark chocolate and somehow managed to be both rich and light. The filling was dulce de leche and the frosting was buttercream. The characters on the cake are Totoro (you may remember Jessica wearing her Totoro fleece PJs at Christmas a couple of years ago) and soot sprites, with rainbow sprinkles, since that is apparently what soot sprites eat.
Megan ordered a wonderful t-shirt for Jessica, which hadn’t arrived on time, so we gave her a picture of it:
I’m pleased to say that she was wearing the “Four More Pages” shirt that I had made for her last Christmas. I gave her three pairs of socks from Pippi’s: math themed; Alice in Wonderland; and Japanese looking cherry blossoms:
She seemed very pleased with both the socks and the shirt to be. There was squealing involved. 🙂
Dinner was pulled pork made by Jonathan, grill bread with spiced dipping oil made by Megan, and mayonnaise-free* coleslaw made by Erica, all at the birthday girl’s request. We perched at the Waltons-sized picnic table and enjoyed eating and talking together, telling stories of when Jessica was a little kid, which seemed to amuse her more than embarrass her. I’m happy that she still wants to spend her birthday with us. Every year, I think it will be the last one. Maybe it never will be.
Happy birthday, kidlet. We love you.
*Because my sibs hate it. This was the basis of Erica’s best prank ever a couple of years ago.
A YEAR AGO: Farewell to a gentle giant.