how we celebrated
On Wednesday, January 18th my son turned two and like most parents, I simply can’t believe the speed of time. I contemplated throwing him a party, but during that planning session I realized how much was going to be about others and less about HIM. “What does this person want to eat, where would that person want to sit” The thought of accommodating everyone else had me feeling like I would shift my attention from my son, and so I decided to invest in something that was particularly special to him. As a long term gift, my husband and I invested in Disney annual passes. We spent the day before his birthday there and there was nothing more magical! He was insanely excited about every single thing he saw. At the end of the day I just wanted to make him happy. People get so lost in everything else that comes with birthdays and I’m just so happy I’m letting go of the traditional rail. The over-the-top parties, the noise, the music, the people. I find it really unnecessary- especially at his age. It doesn’t have to be like everyone else does it. It can be of simple quality and that’s okay. Thinking of a gift with long-term value in my opinion is far more significant. As long as I have photos of my little babe everything else can be taken with ease.
The older he gets, the more opinionated he will be and I’m looking forward to the years where I can throw him a party based on what he chooses and cater that. Those will then be the most fun times for him as he’s transitioning out of his toddler years and into his big boy years. Still I want his birthday to always be about him and never about pleasing 50 other people. From personal experience, I only remember one single birthday (which was my 5th) that was a huge, massive party. It is faintly the last memory I have of my parents together. It was my 5th birthday and it was grand. The cake took over an entire rectangular table and it was an entire barbie-doll house (with barbecues and a pool and everything, haha), a famous magician, and clowns. Its one of my funnest memories, but its really the only birthday from my childhood I can remember. Going forward, the family that raised me was never really big with celebrations at all so extravagant parties for me isn’t something I looked forward to over the years. I wouldn’t even get gifts… just a, “Happy Birthday” and I learned to look forward to that and finding it enough.
I definitely want to give my child something to look forward to on his day. My husbands family is far more traditional and even though they don’t have extravagant parties, they still get together to at the very least sing and split a cake. They always give a gift. In the last 9 years, my in-laws have never missed giving me a birthday gift which is one of the sweetest facts of our relationship. What I didn’t have in my own home I attained through them and I can’t lie, it made me feel special. Even though Disney was where we celebrated Noah’s birthday, I didn’t want to break that tradition. So on the night-of, we had them over to sing Happy Birthday and have some cake. I loved every minute of its simplicity. The day before at Disney, Noah said ‘ice cream’ for the first time, so I had to get ice-cream cake. We had pizza and Carvel and it couldn’t have gone better. We look forward to an entire year of Walt Disney World visits – the best gift a kid could have!