A simple birthday at the tail end of an extraordinary year

A simple birthday at the tail end of an extraordinary year

Hopefully next year we will be somewhere more exciting and far away from here for her birthday. Maybe getting authentic nachos from somewhere in the Americas….

This is how I ended up the post about Little B’s birthday last year. We are far away, but not even close to the Americas or authentic nachos.

And so we complete a year of birthdays away. We have had celebrations in Penang, Saigon, Kyoto/Hiroshima, Amritsar and now in Istanbul. With varied success.

Little B wanted to pick her own cake, so that is what we did, we took her to the delightful and full of colors and temptations patisserie nearby.  A horrible place, perfectly suitable for a little girl and her sweet tooth.

Later, deep into the night, Miss Fab and I were busy cutting up the free booklet they inserted into the bag with the cake. We needed to make cards, letters, decorate a box and wrapping.



A bit of glue, medical tape, scissor action, kitchen paper towels and creativity and we were ready for the morning.


Our creative, but simple wrappings were hiding equally unpretentious gifts – a new set of pencils for her love of drawings, the VW bug she wanted for her Mini Lego guys, a bunch of snacks and sweets, $20 cash to replenish her thirsty savings account and very little else.


It is the rule in our family that the birthday person is the boss of the day. They decide everything, what we eat, where, when…what we do and etc.

Breakfast is usually pancakes, so no surprises here.

For the rest of the day my not so little girl wanted nothing but to play and just stay home. So that is what we did. The catalog from the patisserie came in handy again, as well as a few other advertising leaflets we had gotten around town.



For dinner our boss ordered pizza, so Mr.Blab happily obliged and delivered us a delicious trio.

Candles adorned the simple chocolate cake, surprisingly chosen amongst the other glamorous looking ones.

To finish the day, I set up the kids with three big bowls of freshly popped corn and Little B’s choice for a movie: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert . Yes, my daughter has loved this movie about drag-queens and a transsexual on a road trip across Australia for a few years now. I thought she had forgotten it, but I guess not.

You may think this birthday is nothing special and maybe you are right. We had no jumping castles, no piles of presents, no Disneyland or other such entertainment. I even wondered if this is enough at some point in the day. But right before settling in for her movie Little B ordered me not to enter the room. I did not. A few minutes later she asked me to close my eyes and bend. So I did. And she knighted me with a necklace adorned with colorful love-hearts, said “I love you”, kissed me and with a big grin exposing a few of her wobbly teeth ran away to her popcorn and drag-queens.

I guess it is enough.


Because even little girls can recognize love and care, even when they are wrapped in paper towels and recycled boxes.

Happy Birthday, you beautiful little soul.