We’re off and running in our recap of the Best. Summer. Ever. Click here for the preamble and Episode 1.
Mara Turns Nine
About every other year we have a big birthday party and invite lots of kids, and in the off years we do smaller things. This year we had a small family do at our house for Mara’s birthday, and considering it was the day after the anniversary of my sister’s death, we all did pretty well and enjoyed each other with laughter and food, the way we traditionally do. I had worried that we would all be somber, but Jeni was all about life and hadn’t a morose bone in her body (unlike kid brother the first), and none of us her survivors wanted to let our renewed feelings of loss spoil a little kid’s birthday. We may have taken a family photo, and if I can scrape it up I’ll post it. Mara has a buddy named Jimena, who came from Costa Rica with very little English and started school in the middle of the year like Mara did. They became friends and even though eventually Jimena moved to the school where her mother teaches, she and Mara have continued their friendship. Jimena gets Mara, and she seems to love Millie like a little sister. It’s a sweet thing that we hope will grow. Sometimes we take Jimena with us to dinner after playdates, and Jimena’s mom and step-dad do the same with Mara when the girls are at Jimena’s house. We celebrated Mara’s birthday again at the kids’ favorite place — the Old Spaghetti Factory — and got to dine in the trolley.