Princesses and fairies and ponies - oh my! - all descended on Gray Man Quarters II this weekend to celebrate the third birthday of our beautiful Caroline Grace. And our little pony princess was the fairest of all, darting around handing out hugs and kisses and wand slaps with reckless abandon. Somebody - I won't say who - is very very proud to be three.
Caroline woke up and immediately donned her purple fairy wings, crown and purple wand, and was treated to her breakfast of choice - chocolate Cheerios. We corralled everyone over to Granny's house, where Nana broke out princess gowns for all the girls. Caroline chose the purple one - her favorite color - to go with the crown and wings and wand. Doc had pulled out all the stops and the house was covered floor to vaulted ceiling with balloons, streamers, banners, cupcakes, ponies. Cousins Sidney and Audrey were ladies in waiting, and Spartanburg friends Laney and Louisa Palmer spiced things up as Snow White and Cinderella. Everything a little three year old desires.
Caroline handled all the attention with the grace and panache she is increasingly beginning to show, not too prideful but not too shy, happy to enjoy the attention and the celebration but neither arrogant nor clingy. She is growing into a beautiful little girl with a super sweet smile.
It is hard to believe that three years have passed since that magical August night in 2010, just days after the bar exam and Kim's residency graduation, when Caroline popped into this world at 12:02 am. What is even more exciting to see is the transformation and metamorphosis that this young princess continues to undertake, from little smiling helmet head, to honey badger, to pony princess. She is so incredibly talkative, espcially when not around Jackson, and is so excited to tell you about all of the things going on in her world. She loved to take care of her baby dolls and the animals that live at her "office" - Polly is the latest addition (he's a parrot). She takes extra special care of her little brother Sam, and he repays her kindness with a special kind of big sister love. She loves to sing, especially when no one is watching.
This little girl boggles my mind in all them many ways she has woven her special little magic into our family. She will romp and play with Jack, turn and wrestle with Sam, come give me a hug and then sit on Doc's lap and watch over her little kingdom. She is a little sponge of knowledge and the only reason she has to be told something more than once is because she is choosing to be stubborn, in which case it doesn't matter if you tell her a hundred times. She follows Jackson around, learning everything he does, and then teaching it to Sam. She really is a clever girl. And she will not hesitate to let you know that she does in fact have her own opinion of things, especially when her view is the contrarian one. Often accompanied by a stern glare, which inexplicably she cannot maintain if you glare right back at her because then she will burst into smiling giggles.
That is what is so special- that she has really started to come into her own, to display a measure of sweetness and charm that belies the stubborn strength and steely gaze. Princesses, dolls, hairbows, ponies - all of this too is her domain now, as is the turn of the head or a sweet glance. Looking back over some pictures, I guess this side of her has been there all along. But it sure is fun to see - she's quite a charmer.
Its a fact, Jack - this Princess has the Triple Crown: Smart. Sassy. Sweet. Just like her momma.