Birthday Traditions

We don't really "do" kid birthday parties. We have birthday traditions, but in recent years they don't include a huge birthday party. For T's first two birthdays, we did the big family party – aunts, uncles, cousins, the whole nine. Just like everything with the first child – we did it BIG. And it was a lot of fun, but it also felt like too much. Too much planning, too much food, too many presents. And while it was lovely to have so many people and so much adoration for our little guy in the same place at the same time, it didn't feel like it was for him. It felt like it was for us. 

By the time A's first birthday arrived, our house was on the market – and possibly under contract. I didn't have it in me to do the big party. We did a joint birthday brunch with just the kids' grandparents, aunts and cousin. It seemed like a great idea – the people our kids loved the best and a smaller, more manageable celebration. And then my dad, sister and nephew all got sick and cancelled. So our already small scale celebration became even smaller. And thus began the birthday tradition of mommy scrambling to create small celebrations to make up for the lack of the one big party.

Over the years this has included trips to Friendly's, visits to the toy store to pick their own gifts, and sleepovers with my best girlfriends and their kiddos. And since the kids' birthdays are within a few weeks of each other, often they get joint birthday traditions. I think it is fun because it stretches the birthday fun out to a month or so instead of just one day. 

Until now. T is five now. He has his own friends and some pretty specific birthday expectations. So we made a list and sent out an Evite for fifteen kids and their parents. I bought party favors and created a board on Pinterest. The weekend of the party, my best girlfriend arrived with her husband and two kiddos in tow. I felt like we could do this – the big party.

And then there was a cough. Followed by a runny nose. Followed by a fever. Times two kiddos. Of course. We postponed the party, and we did cupcakes and presents just us. We let T pick out his own gifts from Target. Which I know, at this point, feels normal to him. But I feel like I failed.

So stay tuned, because T is going to get the big friend party this year. Even if it doesn't happen until May.