This month, Sophia turned nine. Since my parents were in town (and the weather forecast called for rain), we decided to play tourist for her birthday.
We started out at the national tea house, a large beautiful building that, incidentally, doesn't serve tea. It does have multiple lavishly (the picture we're standing from is made entirely from stone) decorated meeting rooms, a gift shop, a pool hall, a bowling alley, a movie theater, and a supermarket. But no tea.
After that we went to that national antiquities museum. Where they did not have any tea, but they did have a very large reclining Buddha statue. Along with a lot of other old stuff, like bones and spears and pottery.
That evening we had cake and presents for Sophia, following the now-traditional birthday dinner of Eggs Benedict.
Brandon's grandparents gave her a Barbie doll, Kathleen gave her a coupon book, Joseph gave her some money, Edwin gave her a drawing of a dinosaur, my parents gave her a dress, and we gave her a book and a bike. It was a pretty good birthday.
The next morning, my father put the bike together. Which was is good thing he is an avid bike rider because it was much more complicated than anything I could have handled.
For Sophia's birthday Saturday, we went swimming and then had dinner at a local Arabic restaurant, Al Sham. Nobody spilled anything, nobody cried (not even William), and everyone ate their food, so it was a fantastic meal.
After dinner we went to the amusement park and the children rode all the rides until they had had all of the fun they could stand. This year Kathleen and Sophia were tall enough to ride a bigger ride, the swings, and I went with them. Edwin and Joseph, who were too short, were much disappointed.
Sophia had a great birthday, most of all because her grandparents were in town to celebrate with her. Kathleen always has family around for her birthday (it's always during R&R), and Sophia was happy to finally have family for her birthday, too. It's strange to think that next year she will be hitting double digits - and that will make my second child in double digits. She really has come to be a (mostly) pleasant child to be around and is a cheerful and happy addition to our family. Happy Birthday, Sophia!