Moon Festival is my favourite Vietnamese holiday. It just seems so fun for the little ones and being out long after bedtime, moongazing with my family is as magical for me as it is for Adeline. In the past we've held big parties for all our friends whose children joined their families through adoption from Vietnam and China, but to be honest we just weren't up for it this year. David and I are both just in a really inwards-focused place right now, where we just want to spend our precious free time enjoying our little family and not doing all the cooking, cleaning, gardening and planning that a big party takes. So things were much simpler for Moon Festival this year. We decorated the house and Adeline and I baked some moon and star cookies to accompany our mooncakes. On Thursday we packed up our picnic basket and lanterns and headed out.
First we had an absolute feast at a Vietnamese restaurant. There's no food Adeline likes better. We've finally gotten smart and started ordering two plates of our favourite tofu appetizer as in the past Adeline would clean the plate, leaving the rest of the table with none. Then, since the moon hadn't quite risen yet, we went to a fun new playground so that Adeline could swing and slide and zipline while night fell.
Then we found the PERFECT quiet beach to watch the moon and have our picnic. We were so lucky that the rain held off and the clouds parted for us to be able to see the beautiful full moon. We set up our snacks on a log and watched the clouds move across the moon as we listened to the sound of the water lap against the pebble beach. By the light of the lanterns and the full moon, I told the story of Chu Cuoi (the man in the moon), we made our wishes on the moon, and we talked about how the same moon that we see in our sky shines on all the people of the world. We munched mooncakes and sipped tea and soaked in the magic of the night. We talked about how in Vietnam everyone, including Adeline's birth family, was celebrating Autumn Moon Festival now. Adeline is thinking a lot about her birth family lately, and this gave us a chance to include them as part of a family celebration. We want Adeline to know that even though we don't know her birth parents, they are still very much members of our family.
We finished our evening with some sparklers and then we headed home. Adeline had asked "Since it''s a very special night..." if she could sleep in the big bed with us. We don't do this very often as I don't sleep a bit when she's there, but we just couldn't refuse. Adeline snuggled in between us, smiled like a contented kitty and drifted off to sleep immediately.
It was a perfect night.