Life throws you all kinds of curveballs. Things you would never expect... like a 5-year old girl having a stroke. Yup, a stroke. Thank goodness this story has a happy ending, with CHOC and Health Bridge Children's Hospital playing a HUGE part in little Gracie's recovery. Because she is now running and playing again like any other normal, healthy kid. But stuff like that makes you think. And it really makes you appreciate all of life's little moments just a bit more. To grasp everything near and dear to you and hold on tightly with both hands.
So when Gracie's 6th birthday rolled around, her family decided that they wanted to celebrate in a big, BIG way. Because what is a birthday but a celebration of the person? And they had a LOT to celebrate.
Gracie's party was held at Pretend City, where she was surrounded by the love of family and friends. Lots and lots of friends. And in lieu of gifts for Gracie, donations were made in her honor to benefit the children of CHOC and Health Bridge Children’s Hospital. Because it was a night for celebrating and giving thanks.
Let the party begin...
This was my first time at Pretend City, and I felt like I was five years old again. I wanted to run and play and touch everything in sight. So excited, I didn't know where to start. I think I must have pointed and said "ohmygosh" about a million times that night, my voice getting squeakier and my dance getting happier each time. And that was just ME.... a grown-up.
The kids were fantastic to watch. Lost in the realm of imagination, there was no hesitation. They dove right in and BECAME what each area dictated. Farmer, doctor, grocer, chef, actor... they played all the parts available to them. And then some.
I consider myself privileged to have been a part of the night's event, able to capture a few pieces of their magical play. There was no interrupting the flow and asking the children to pose or smile. I was a fly on the wall... buzzing from room to room, participating in the excitement, a HUGE smile permanently plastered to my face.
I was even instructed by one child to have a seat in the dentist's chair so that he could give me a much-needed root canal. (And who knew a root canal could be so much FUN?)
Welcome to Pretend City...
Happy birthday, Gracie!!! May this year be a FABULOUS one for you and your family.
Love Pretend City and want to PLAY some more? I'm offering a FUN day of mini-portrait sessions coming up THIS SUNDAY, April 22nd, which will be "tea-party" themed... a PERFECT gift for Mother's Day. Click here for full details and to snag yourself a spot.