Briar is three, three and a day.

Yesterday was marked with the palest of pink streamers, decorate-your-own-cupcakes, complete with age-inappropriate spray and squirt icing, and a larger-than-life, climb inside and roll around, red ball. Red bags lined the step of the porch, each filled to overflow with candies and toys, the topper on each was a party hat, the girls’ version embellished with ribbons to look like a princess hat. There were tables, covered in pale pink, stacked with snacks and drinks. There were ribbons and ballons hanging from every conceivable perch.

Watching Briar walk into the backyard wonderland was a bit like what I imagine arriving at the Mary Poppins carousel in the countryside experience might have been like: reverent, dizzy and filled with the best kind of I-can’t-believe-it-yet-I-know-it’s-real disbelief. Standing on the stone patio Sean and I laid together and seeing this day I’d been fretting over for days and weeks finally arrive, had me feeling a bit supercalifragilisticexpialidocious myself.

I stood on the edge of our yard, mouth agape, as family after family arrived. Little girls bearing presents, parents pushing strollers and neighbors sporting huge grins. I don’t know if I expected it to fail, but I never dreamed the party would go off so perfectly. The kids tore around the yard, while the adults mingled, chatting and laughing. I had a camera in my back pocket, but the photos I see today are blurry and not at all as I remember the day.

It was full of bright colors and laughing eyes, of high fives and somersaults. There was a sot breeze and warm sun, stolen kisses in the kitchen as we replenished treats, and warm hugs as friends and family gathered. And at the end, we had sleepy eyes and ratty hair, sticky fingers and smudged faces, and of course, each other. Cuddling at bed time and rubbing noses in the night, celebrating the births that led us to today, a day I’ll remember in my heart.