My daughter turned 13 yesterday.

A momentous occasion that had her bouncing off the walls for days. She normally has an excess of enthusiasm and energy so the added excitement was daunting. Yesterday was the “family party” with pizza, cake and our closest friends. And its not over yet.

Saturday will bring five teenage girls to our house for her “friends party” which will consist of a trip to the mall to eat yummy, yummy food court food, followed by cake & and a sleepover. This is not as bad as it sounds. They are all very nice and well behaved kids who are often very amusing to talk to.

The only downside is the noise. Having a single child in the house is profoundly different than having even two, let alone 6. So the couple, three times a year when there is a pack of kids running around the house for 24 hours straight it reinforces that our decision to have only one child was The Absolute Right Decision For Us.

So far her most cherished gift this birthday was from “her Canadian mother” (an honorific for a beloved neighbor) who presented her with 4-inch black stiletto heels. Her sheer happiness as she tottered around the living room in her new grown-up shoes was exceptional and lovely to witness.

My birthday wish for her – and for all of us – is that she continue to experience such depths of delight over ordinary things and to always know how much she is loved.