Veja

Happy 4th Birthday Juliet

May 6, 2019 • KidsLife

please tell me – HOW is this girl four years old? i know every mother and their mothers are full of clichés, but every day that i’m a mom myself, i understand them a little better. it’s all true. every new thing they learn, you celebrate and you mourn at the same time. you celebrate their kindness, their wittiness or cleverness, their self-confidence. ironically, at exactly the same time you mourn their growing independence. the looming reality that one day they won’t wake you up in the middle of the night anymore to sleep next to you. they won’t need you as much anymore. they won’t believe every word you say, they won’t want to copy every little thing you do. it’s a constant struggle between being proud of the humans they are becoming, and sad for the little babies they are leaving behind in their past.

so, i get it now – why parents make such a big deal out of the birthdays of their kids. if you put enough energy and concentration into the decorations, the cake, the gifts, the songs, the surprises, the cards and the balloons, you might just be able to make it through the day without an emotional breakdown. the more you concentrate on creating the magic that will cement that smile on your kid’s face, the less time you have to wax on nostalgic about the day they were born, their tiny fists that disappeared into your hand, their tiny toes that wiggled free from their baby blankets, their tiny cheeks that turned red with frustration when they got hungry.

kids, if you are old enough to read this and you feel embarrassed about the big deal your mother still makes out of your birthday when you turn 14, 24 or 44 – imagine the embarrassment if i wouldn’t have a party to plan. every time you let your mother bake you a cake, you’re saving yourself from much, much worse.

anyhow, turning four is huge for juliet. she definitively crossed the line from tiny toddling toddler into a real kid. suddenly she wants to ride bikes, sleep in a big bed, and go to school. i’m so grateful for the swiss school system, which starts in september the year you turn four. i feel like she is more ready for that big change than i will ever be – if i could have it my way she’d go to daycare forever. instead, i am watching her learn how to count in three languages, and draw ever more elaborate pictures. i listen to her complicated stories that weave fantasy and reality together in fantastic fables. i learn from her about unicorns and farm animals like they are part of the same universe. she tells me she wants to be a mom when she grows up, as well as an ‘educatrice’ and a doctor. she’s simply listing all the female role models in her surroundings – that in itself makes me proud.

for her birthday, she really wanted a shop. and a unicorn. and nail polish. she’s a girl’s girl, what can i say. and i love nothing more than to see that absolute joy in her eyes when she sees her deepest wishes fulfilled. if only i could do that for the rest of her life. that’s not probable, so i’ll have to soak in every minute of every year while i am still a godlike creature in her world, able to make any fantasy come true.

photos by stephanie duval • flexa shop, register and groceries via MYLITTLEROOM.CH • juliet’s skirt and cardigan from SOFT GALLERY and tee from EMILE ET IDAmeri meri balloons, veja sneakers, nailmatic fizzy ball and soap via HET LAND VAN OOIT • tableware from POMAX • if you have any other questions, leave them in the comments

last weekend was one for the memory books. my friend MARTA and i had been trying to get our families together for a cozy brunch or lunch since a few months, but our calendars never seemed to line up. we finally booked a date several weeks in advance – a saturday in october it would be. as the weather stayed nice for so long, we decided it would be the perfect time to do a joint photo session, too. there are never enough opportunities to get some beautiful family portraits, right?

so last saturday we were en route to our lunch and shoot location in the gorgeous countryside close to geneva, when i started smelling trouble from the back seat about twenty minutes into the drive. we figured we’d wait to change eloise’s diaper until we arrived at the restaurant, thinking nothing much more of it. but when another twenty minutes later i opened the car door and lifted eloise out of her car seat, a million thoughts started running through my head – the loudest one being ‘why for the love of god do i never pack a change of clothes for this baby?’ i’ll spare you my other thoughts. her diaper’s contents had exploded all over her beautiful onesie, pants and socks, and i had brought absolutely nothing else for her to wear. we panicked and almost turned the car straight around to head back home and cancel all plans, until we realized that shit indeed does happen in life and it’s way better to just roll with the punches.

so instead of having our lovely photo shoot i packed eloise into her super warm sleeping bag and tucked her under a blanket in the stroller, and we all enjoyed a little walk before enjoying a lovely lunch together. eloise slept through the entire thing. i guess marta and i had also romanticized the idea of being able to carry an actual conversation with so many kids at the table, but hey – it still counts as spending quality time together. afterwards we all drove back to our place in begnins to change eloise into a new outfit and have some coffee and cake, and then we went out for another little walk in our neighborhood. not even five minutes from our home, and of course we ended up taking the most gorgeous photos there. that’s #reallife for you.

the kids had fun picking some of the last left over grapes from the vines, while marta and i got completely snap happy and freaked out about the perfect light and the gorgeous fall colors. our husbands must have rolled their eyes a few times but they were polite enough to let us carry on, even posing for some family photos. keep the momtographers happy, and everyone gets to be happy, right? also – can we talk about these beautiful fall outfits? i am practically living in that red dress i found at MARGARETA, and all the kids are dressed (nearly head to toe) in things we found at STADTLANDKIND, both marta’s and my favorite swiss children’s web shop.

photos by stephanie duval and marta villacampa • my dress is from MARGARETA, all the kids are dressed in STADTLANDKIND outfits • théo’s SWEATER, inès’ DRESS and T-SHIRT, eloise’s CARDIGAN, ROMPER and PANTS, juliet’s DRESS, SNEAKERS, SCARF and POM POM SWEATER

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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.

 

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