Published: November 27th 2011November 27th 2011
Our little girl turned a not so little 6 on the 24th
November. And what a lovely day it was. Everything a 6th
birthday needs to be. Balloons, presents galore and even a birthday cake.
The day started in bed with the birthday fairies arriving at about 5am to fill Geoff and my bed with giant balloons and gifts. Mother duck then treaded water till about 7am when the door creaked open and the day began in earnest.
Duvet covers were lifted and balloons investigated, presents discovered and duly unwrapped (never ripped) and cards read and emails devoured. Then came present playing time with two delighted children and their sweets (yes, the birthday breakfast) leaving for an intense play with an imaginative underworld world restaurant that still makes me smile when I think of it emerging. Days later the game is still in full swing with little fishy tables and minute chopsticks and spoons as small as nail clippings gathering in momentum. It is a wondrous world I love to pop into when I am invited.
At midday we finally tore ourselves away from this piece of pai-radise and hopped onto our scooters. We zoomed of down the road,
heading for Faith’s birthday wish. The elephant camp. We arrived and fed the ellies a few hands of bananas and then climbed the loading dock to board the great beasts.
Faith had chosen to swim with the ellies. Having done our ellie bit in the past it was with no great interest beyond that of fulfilling Faith’s birthday wish that I clambered upon our great beast and shuffled back to let Faith snuggle against me, and then Phoenix.
But from the moment we boarded the experience felt different, as all we sat on was a blanket. No howdah here. Just a rope, a blanket and our bottoms.
Off we ambled. Within a few minutes I’d realized how large a beast an elephant is and tucked my legs up behind me because trying to sit “astride” an elephant is somewhat like trying to do a sustained splits. It just doesn’t work for very long.
Legs flipped behind me, I was ready for the road and soon enjoying the experience. We lumbered along though dappled sunlight until we turned off to the river where we slipped the blanket from beneath us and then trundled into the water. Which
is where all the fun started.
Phoenix looked down over the ellie edge and informed me that the elephant was drinking. Or so he thought - because a moment later we were doused by a large trunk full of water and wet through in seconds. It was at this point that the giggling began - giggling which soon turned into raucous laughter and the most fun I have had in years.
What a privilege it was to bathe with this enormous, gentle, bright beast. We got throw off like we were fleas. We got doused. We got shaken about. Dumped. Doused some more. We got worked over. Well and truly.
It was humbling, enchanting and awesome to encounter this magnificent animal at such close quarters and to feel his immense power. It was an hour that I will never forget and a great way to celebrate our little girl’s birthday.
The day ended with an insane chocolate cake at home and then dinner in town and our own little firework display in a field on the way home.
I fell into bed grateful to have Geoff, Phoenix and Faith as my family, and for the
rich lives we lead.
Happy birthday Faithie. May your 7th
year be wonder-ous.
There are more photos below