A few weeks ago, we celebrated Rinoa’s 5th birthday. It’s interesting to note that this year, Rinoa was old enough to understand, for the first time, the concept of birthdays. She knew children get gifts on their birthdays – and she was excited. She’s been wanting this wooden kitchen set from Target, and one starry night, while we were outside on the driveway, she pointed to the brightest star she could find and made a wish.

A week after she made her wish, and just a few days before her birthday, this is what happened:

Rinoa: Mommy, I told the wishing star I wanted the kitchen set for my birthday. Does that mean you’re going to give me the kitchen set on my birthday?

Mommy: Well, if you made a wish, that’s between you and the wishing star. That doesn’t mean you will get a kitchen set from me.

Rinoa: Does that mean the wishing star will give me the kitchen set for my birthday?

Mommy: You just have to be patient and see if your wish will be granted.

Now, her concept of birthdays go beyond knowing she’ll get gifts. This is what she said the night before her birthday:

Rinoa: All of you have to hide tomorrow and surprise me.

Mommy: Why do we have to do that?

Rinoa: Because that’s what people do when it’s someone’s birthday. Everybody hides and when I come in and I don’t see anybody, I’ll say ‘Aawww, there’s nobody here and it’s my birthday!’ And then you’ll all come out and shout ‘Happy Birthday!’ and I will be happy.

Mommy: Where did you learn that?

Rinoa: I saw it on TV.

Mommy: Uh-huh.

Rinoa: So are you going to hide?

Mommy: No.

Rinoa: Aaawww. Why not?

Mommy: Because surprises don’t work that way. You can’t tell someone to surprise you on your birthday because then, you won’t be surprised anymore.

Rinoa: Ok.

Anyway, she did get surprised. The next morning, when she woke up and came downstairs, one of her gifts was already set up against a wall and waiting for her. (Not really hard to guess what it was.)

Just look at that big smile on her face. (The kitchen set, btw, was a pain to put together, according to Troy.)
And here she is, opening more gifts. This one is from Mica.
Mica got her a Tinkerbell doll and a new princess tiara, since she broke Rinoa’s old one.
Rinoa chose to have cupcakes rather than one big birthday cake – so I baked her two kinds – a cloud cupcake (meringue frosting) with pink sprinkles and a fruit cupcake with mascarpone frosting. She’s making a wish here before she blows out the candles.
Two of her friends, Zoe and Maddy, came to celebrate with us.