Recently we had the opportunity to take Sunny on an unusual outing, a banquet for the winners of the VFW Voice of Democracy essay contest; my sister, founder of SAY, was our district's winner (1 in 21 out of 3,400 across New Jersey!)
For this event, my mom made a stunning ice blue, snowflake-sprinkled dress for Sunny, complete with puff sleeves and ribbon sash. The icy color made her glow, and we envisioned Sunny sitting at the table, with bouncy dark curls and red leather-clad feet swinging merrily.
The day before the banquet, snow began to fall.
A lot of snow.
The hour-long drive was doubled. The highway was peppered with vehicles unable to make it through the heavy snow. We eventually made it to the hotel where the banquet was being held, and we rushed in through the icy winds. Barely in time, mom and I braided Sunny's hair and went into the dining area.
Sunny was very interested in all the artfully arranged fruit in the first course...just not her own. She also preferred to stand, and would not hear of such a thing as sitting.
Then Sunny discovered ice water. What fun! The neat little stem fit her in her chubby hand perfectly. It was much more fun to stick her tongue in the water, rather than sip it, apparently. This occupied her all through dinner (this, and a handy box of her favorite mints). We attempted to get Sunny to try some food, but she would not.
Until dessert, of course.
When the waitress brought out the chocolate frosted chocolate cake, she could do no wrong in Sunny's starry eyes. In between bites, our little snowflake confection of a sibling was whizzing around the table, up and down the back of the room; repeat. The pattern on the carpet was a twisting array of swirls, and the space to run was unmatched elsewhere. During the ceremony, we took turns keeping an eye on our little snowflake fairy, who took the opportunity during standing ovations to run in circles between and around the adult attendees. Sunny adored all of the applause, and even participated, too--although I suspect she believed the applause was directed at herself :).
At one moment, during a speech, Sunny had decided that one elderly gentleman's gray hair was in need of the same treatment she gives to her stuffed ponies' manes: pluck, pluck, pluck. Her little fingers were a half-inch from said hair when she was whisked back to the tables and enveloped in a distracting hug :).
Just before we left, a waitress was cleaning up the nearby tables, and had placed a few vodka glasses on her tray. Seeing a straw, Sunny flew over and took a sip of the leftover drink inside. As we came after her, the waitress-who didn't see it was a vodka glass-chirped, "Oh, it's alright, she can have it!"
By now Sunny had finished the last few sips, much to the amusement of another waiter who had appeared only to chuckle at the spectacle; and to the horror of the waitress who had dismissed our calls of "Nooo Sunny!"
And so we drove back home amid the snow, with Sunny sleeping quite soundly during the ride... how much vodka was in that glass, anyway?
~~ Caeli, the middle sister