The Birthday Saga
Oh man, kids' birthday parties...
They are a minefield. Even if, like me, you don't go out of your way to impress people, there is still at least one little person whose opinion of the day is all important. Parents, let me tell you something: overvaluing that opinion puts you on the path to madness.
This year, we used common sense to plan The Kid's 4th Birthday Party...at least, we tried to. The first step was take the worry of making a cake off their mom and place it on to me. Watch this video to see how it turned out:
So the cake was made and ready for the big day. The Kid woke up early (as he does EVERY morning) and discovered his birthday present: his first bike. He was clearly impressed and VERY happy...but something happened when I watched him jump on and ride around with such big boy confidence.
I'm not a poet - my writing style is far too literal - but this little verse popped into my head:
I held this precious tiny human in my hands and I blinked.
I made sure that his small tummy was always full and I blinked.
I kept him warm in winter and cool in summer and I blinked.
I rested his head on my chest to let my heartbeat calm him and I blinked.
I cheered him when he rolled and crawled and stood up and walked and I blinked.
I watched him run to his friends at playschool and I blinked.
I blinked and that tiny human became this big human - who is just going to become bigger with every blink.
And it's so exciting to see him grow...but at times I want the blinking to slow.
Everything else about The Kid's special day went smoothly. He gets overwhelmed quite quickly when there is too much attention from a large group of people, so we just met with some family at a nearby park, unpacked a truck-load of treats, and let him spend some time being him.
We all know that our children's birthday parties are important - but we really have to start reevaluating what "important" means. Does it mean expecting everyone to spend huge amounts of money on silly things (like a pretty cake that gets cut up immediately) or to be overloaded with presents, most of which you will never actually use?
Or does it mean spending time being made to feel loved by those who you love?
I know which meaning I want to teach my boys...