under the sea

I love throwing birthday parties.

I know it seems a little silly, but little girl dreams of a princess parties inspire my creativity and sense of whimsy.

Curlicue calligraphy on paper invitations. Balloons nestled in rainbow streamers and glitter sprinkled on the table.

So for Ava’s 5th birthday, she chose to have an under the sea party with the very special guest, Ariel.

Such wonders like a real Ariel must be booked far in advance. So back in October, I called Cinderella Company, a fanciful establishment full of fairy tale characters. Adventure will knock at your door. Fairy dust will float down in your yard. A princesses will sing Happy Birthday to your loved one.

All so amazing and realistic, you think that maybe Ariel is not made up after all, but a real mermaid who lives down the road in the San Francisco Bay.

After weeks of anticipation, party day has arrived. I stayed up late turning the living room into an under the sea oasis. Bright blue foil ribbons cast a cool watery hue. Paper lanterns dangle between streamers. They look like jelly fish floating on the waves. A bubble machine is blowing shiny  bubbles into the sky adding to ambiance that we truly are under the sea.


A cake of whimsical fondant seashells with a toy Ariel sitting demurely on the top.

Layers of decadent chocolate cake filled with chocolate creme.


Party guest arrive. Each child bringing brightly wrapped gifts and warm hugs for the birthday girl.

Everyone is outside. Jumping. Squealing. Spinning. Hundreds of bubbles are floating on the breeze. Just another beautiful winter day in California.

And then my phone rings.

It’s her.

She has parked her car down the street. You might ask, why doesn’t she just get out and walk up to the house? The answer is simple. Ariel doesn’t drive. She magically appears, as if she came right from her ocean home.

We move everyone into the house.  The party noise escalates like a musical forte.

A minute later, the door swings open and there she is.

Beauty, grace, and overall princess presence; Ariel has arrived.

Ava runs up to greet her. Welcoming her with a hug as big as her tiny arms can muster. Her eyes huge with wonder. So happy Ariel  has come to her party.


She can hardly get in the door when she surrounded by a gaggle of little girls clamoring for her attention.


She walks in, places her magic trunk at her feet, and begins singing.

The noise level of the party goes from roar to whisper. Little girls bewitched. She is taking them on a journey and they willingly go with her on a trip under the sea.

Magic tricks. Stories. Songs. Sparkly pastel flowers are painted onto faces and hands. They love her. She is a real princess.

Ava receives a shell necklace. She is told it holds special powers that will make her bad dreams disappear. Ava wears it to bed every night for two weeks convinced it serving her well as a dream catcher.


Before we know it, it’s cake time. Ariel has a beautiful singing voice and leads a happy birthday sing-a-long.

And then just like that, it’s time for this mermaid to return to the sea.

Big hugs for Ava.


She spends time with each little girl. Hugs all around.


Ariel, rock star to the the little girls of the world (and maybe a little for me too).


She leaves as magically as she arrived on an ethereal whisper of fairy dust.

Party favors handed out. Thank you hugs given. Tired tiny party guests are tucked into cars and taken home.

The house is warm and silent; filled with love and happiness.

Happy 5th Birthday, my sweet girl.

2 thoughts on “under the sea

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