Yours is the lone birthday in our immediate family at the tail end of the calendar year, and sometimes the wait is so painful for you.When your big day finally arrived on December 9, we wanted to be sure you felt special and celebrated! We started out by calling off school and heading out to a birthday breakfast with Mommy and Daddy at the Cioccolata restaurant overlooking the Playa Brava beach.
You are growing so fast and your appetite is growing along with you, so we treated you to the house special with its big piece of lemon pie, cup of fresh fruit juice, hot tea, two fried eggs with fried ham, and four slices of buttered toast. You made most of it disappear! (Little did we know this would come back to haunt us later, ha!) It was fun seeing you and Daddy in your matching dress shirts and listening to him tease you about the "Barbie tricycle" he insisted you would be receiving on your birthday. You weren't quite sure what to believe!
Ever since Aunt Terri's visit last year when Alec was able to accompany our visitors on a boat ride, you have been reminding us that you wanted a turn. So we surprised you by picking up two of your friends, Kylie and Kristi, to take the hour-long loop around the Iquique harbor. Unfortunately, the wait was long and once the ride was finally in motion we discovered that you suffer from seasickness! To relieve your symptoms, the captain invited you to help him turn the wheel and guide the boat into calmer waters. It didn't help much and we were all relieved when the long-awaited outing was over. I am sorry that aspect of your birthday did not turn out as you had hoped, but it certainly was memorable!
We enjoyed one of your favorite foods for your birthday lunch - empanadas made by Sra. Leticia in various flavors (chaparritas with hotdogs and cheese for you and Alec; españolas with sausage for Sissy; mexicanas with spicy meat for Daddy; fried cheese and chicken for Owen; steak, cheese and tomatoes for Eva; and chicken, chard and cheese for Mommy.) Then came birthday gifts! And finally, your very own bike! - after weeks and months of pleadings and reminders. You impressed us all by teaching yourself to ride a bike without training wheels at school this year. Mommy and Daddy were happy to surprise you in this way.
Your sisters kindly took you to the cancha to practice riding your bike, and later in the evening we enjoyed having your teacher and her son over for supper and cake. Your third meal of the day was another favorite - taco salad - and though we couldn't find strawberry cake, you seemed pleased enough by one with cherries! Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop called to wish you Happy Birthday, and Grandmom and Grandpop even sang along with us via Skype on the computer. They said it felt just like being there. :)
Ian, we hope you know that you are loved! This year has held many challenges for you. Sometimes they made you sad or frustrated, although one of the qualities we most love about you is your overall joyfulness. Next year will be a new experience for all of us as you begin to home school and discover new things God has in store to teach you. We know He has a very special plan for your future and look forward to seeing it unfold in your life. Happy 7th Birthday, Ian David!
All my love,