My son is not yet 9 months old, and already I have been pondering his first birthday celebration (and the subsequent ones). Does that make me crazy? I blame pinterest (and babycenter, for reminding me how old he is).
Steve and I have been tossing around a few ideas, with the ultimate goals of celebrating the individual, embracing simplicity, and remembering our own blessings by giving to others. One thing we struggle with is how to honor our families by incorporating some of the most meaningful traditions of birthdays, holidays, and other special events while also including our new desires.
And in this era where it seems every other week there’s a Hallmark holiday…it’s a balancing act, with no end in sight. Weariness sets in when I know I can never measure up to the pinterest, do-it-all, and do-it-all-with-perfection climate.
I have so many birthday memories from childhood. The “You Are Special” red circular plate always made an appearance. While we didn’t have too many themed parties, there were always balloons and party goods, and as I got older, flowers too. We got to choose a favorite home cooked meal, which was actually a difficult task, seeing that both of my parents are great in the kitchen. We only had a few birthday parties with friends/classmates, and honestly, I preferred the celebrations with my immediate family. There was more pressure to throw a stellar party when other kids my age were involved. I recall the year I wanted a Brazilian meal for dinner (ode to my mother’s earliest years). Already a worrier, and a bit of a people pleaser, I asked my mom to make mac n cheese as well, just in case there were some friends with less adventurous palates. Didn’t want my friends to go home hungry!
I want my kids to look back on their own childhood, and celebrations, with fondness. Will they remember the food, the decor, the incessant picture-taking, the cake, the gifts, the people, the joy? And how do we instill thankfulness and a heart that sees the greater needs around us (while showering them with love and some gifts too)?