it’s starting to sink in for me that camp boss is still refusing to write her own blog. i think i’ve heard her tell me enough times now that she wants me to include parts of her story here in my story, and since our stories do overlap quite a lot, i’m finally convinced this is a good idea. i think i will have to wait until another day to chronicle the superstar sister who is camp boss herself, but today a certain birthday party for two of her offspring needed to be documented. although she has assured me she is not only cool with, but encourages me to post photos of faces (i normally avoid posting faces of other peoples’ children, even my nieces and nephews, which is what her kids are to me) i am giving them all pseudonyms to protect the innocent. (camp boss is not actually her real name, either, in case you were wondering, although it is very much who she is.)
the birthday party was for offspring numbers 3 and 6 of sister camp boss. kitty is the third sibling, but the oldest of the dauntless trio of small blond females. kitty is always the one to sneak off with the oreos to the tent when we’re on a camping trip. this birthday girl is now 7, and she is rocking a new red violet helmet cover (which when i got finished sewing it, reminded me a bit of the pink panther) and a new stunt bike, in matching red violet, which couldn’t have been a more perfect match if we had planned it. she is full of spunk and sass and exuberance, and is the embodiment of my fashion goals, in equal parts rainbow brite and layered grunge. when you’re looking for her, she is either off watching movies on a clandestine kindle, or she is tearing down the driveway at top speed on a plasma car, probably head first or backwards. she hibernates and stores up energy and then lets it rip, full blast, holding nothing back. yet she is the person most likely to be able to walk up to any chicken and pick it up, and i remember her needing to be reprimanded about picking up each of her infant siblings before she was ready to be doing so without supervision; there’s a deep well of nurture beneath her adrenalin-seeking surface. i enjoyed watching her waltz into the kitchen after the cupcakes had been eaten, the presents opened, and throw back the 2-liter of orange soda to take herself a big swig right out of the bottle.
kitty holds a special place in my heart because her lifespan marks the duration of my friendship with her camp boss mama, in whose womb she was being knit in all her dauntless rainbow stripes when we first met. she is also responsible for koala’s nickname, due to her proclamation when he was a newborn that he was “cuter than a baby koala bear!” this birthday party was also meant to celebrate this little man, who is turning one!
the dauntless sister next younger than kitty, also known as butterfly, often sports black and sparkly outfits, or sometimes tries to argue that a slip is plenty of clothing. she also speaks her truth, like her mom, of the candor faction, and i sometimes wonder when i look at her, if i am looking at a future camp boss. “i do not like spicy meatballs,” she announces to everyone, and no one in particular. she instigates mischief and has the smile to match. her statement about baby brother koala when he came along was that he is cuter than a candy cane! her age of 5 is memorable to me because she was a newborn when i was first telling stories to my sister of a handsome guy at yoga and plotting whether i should move my yoga mat closer to his. (she heartily endorsed this, and i did move my yoga mat. and we are now 5 years old, too, just like butterfly.)
fish, dauntless age 3, always inadvertently steals the show with her strawberry blond pigtails and huge cheeky smile. i caught her licking the chocolate ice cream out of her bowl on camera, but failed to snap the next two moments, the one where she walked away, pulling a fistful of fluffy tutu across her chocolatey cheeks to clean them, and the other one where she continued around the corner and snatched the decorative sugar bowtie off the last cupcake on the tray.
it is such a joy to watch quinn light up as he sits by koala’s high chair and delights in his baby eating cuteness. quinn never does accomplish much eating in a household filled with so many surrogate cousins, even when he spends his summer days there among them, so this bonding time with his favorite baby is time well spent. we have been around for a greater proportion of this baby’s babyhood, now that we are nearby neighbors of the family camp boss. although i was across the room from the two of them during dinner, koala would steal a glance my way periodically and i elicited a few sideways squeezy baby fist waves. koala’s first birthday was the sound of grandparent hands clapping for a newly walking boy traversing the living room carpet, the smell of cupcake-smeared boy skin, the sight of wide eyes, in astonishment at the whole room singing in his direction, in wonder at the candles and balloons and new toys, in concentration on his winnie the pooh board book. he will never be able to escape being the sixth sibling, and somehow, he strikes me as a cerebral guy with a serious thought-life; as much as he likes to kick around a whiffle ball, it seemed like he might be thinking, “i’m just going to block out everything going on around me, so i can really focus on reading this book.”
second in the birth order, filly is an amazing big sister to koala, and is clearly one of his favorite people in the world. sister filly is of the amity faction, if anyone is: a little bit dreamy, a loyal friend, sister and cousin, and always with a sweet smile to share (we won’t talk about when it’s her turn to wash dishes). her hair is somehow the blondest of all the blonds and she is a graceful dancer. she strikes me as an artist, but whatever she ends up pursuing in life, i see her diving in with her whole, anomalously large heart, and lots of enthusiasm.
before the birthday shindig, oldest brother bear panda, who is quinn’s closest friend, came to hang out with us at the dragon house and the dojo for the afternoon. he seems to cherish his moments of being singled out and having some time to play without four younger sisters and baby brother around. he is a dutiful and caring big brother, don’t get me wrong, but i notice he lets down his caretaker role a little bit and enters the magical pretend mindscape of quinn with relish, like he’s on vacation. the two of them ended up playing a game of chess while i finished my karate class (quinn was feeling too tired to continue, sapped by a cold he is getting over, and was sitting out the end of class and keeping panda company). they are kindred spirits when it comes to pokemon, games of world domination, audio books, and legos, so it is equally beneficial to quinn to be joined by a peer, as it is to panda to spend a few hours as one of “only” two kids.
we took a vote by secret ballot (accomplished by show of hands) and a good time was had by all party-goers!