We have lots of birthdays at our house, but believe it or not, there are some months with none. April is a light month with only one, and this year it happens to be a daughter who is turning 12. *sigh* I won't go in to the bittersweet thoughts of a mother who is watching a little girl grow up before her very eyes. The day will begin with the birthday cereal chosen by the lucky birthday-ee. Yes, I know that junk cereal is a poor choice for a healthy breakfast but it's a cheap thrill and a tradition. Usually it is something sugar-laden like Marshmallow Mateys or Cap'n Crunch. Then it's time to open a number of presents, the more the better. Lest you think we are spoiling the child, let me hasten to add that most of these presents are things like a candy bar or a bottle of Fiji water. One year a small sibling wrapped up a used pencil to give a teenager. Pennies are popular with the preschoolers, too. Sometimes we go around and tell something we love about the birthday child. Meanwhile, everyone waits for the right moment to attack with a good-natured free-for-all and "pinch to grow an inch." This particular birthday will involve a little party in the afternoon with some sweet little girl friends, two brown-haired sisters who make a matched set with our two blonde sisters. The theme is currently being kept secret from the Chosen One, but since she doesn't read this blog I'll let you in on it: Picnic with Bugs. They will play outside and make little houses in the grass for their Pet Shop animals, hold the new baby bunnies, do a craft project making bugs out of "Bendaroos" and eat pretzels (sticks), pudding (mud), crushed Oreos (dirt), and pond slime (some sort of juice). The decor will be a red checked tablecloth strewn with plastic bugs from Dollar Tree. The day will end with pizza and a family movie chosen by the birthday girl. I think she'll like it. I hope it makes her feel loved, because she is.