Friday, October 16, 2009
Flashback Friday: Party On
Kids birthday parties seem to be a hot topic lately. I have seen numerous online discussions, blog postings, and articles in parenting magazines on how to do a birthday party, how not to do a birthday party, or whether to do a party at all, and often on how over the top and out of control birthday parties are becoming. If you Google “kids birthday parties”, you get about one million sites to help you plan, organize and create the party of your or your children's dreams as well as an opinion or two the subject. Birthday parties for the toddling and pre-toddling crowd may seem a bit frivolous and silly, do they even know its their birthday? But I think that a child's birthday is a reason to party!
Birthday's and the party to celebrate them seems to be one of those things that have become a “modern problem”. I am sure my grandmother didn't even think about it. Yes some people take it to the extreme, someone takes everything to the extreme. I am not one that thinks doling out hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars for a kids party is needed or reasonable. I just think that we should celebrate our children and the milestones of their lives, especially their first birthday.
I have been surprised by how often I have heard of people not celebrating first birthdays. I think the first birthday is an important milestone that should be celebrated, not just for the child, but the parents as well. If this is your first child, there is even more a reason to celebrate! My first child's first birthday party was as much about my husband and I as it was about him. We were celebrating not only him turning one, but celebrating our being parents for one year. We had survived! Pop the champagne and celebrate! Why wouldn't you be proud of that achievement? We invited everyone we knew (and our home could hold), we had wine and beer, and of course cake. We did the “kid stuff” (cake and presents) simply to indulge the grandparents, neither us nor August had any interest in it. We plan to do the same for our daughter, as hers was the much tougher first year and we survived it!
Kids may not understand entirely what's going on when they are 1 or 2, but that does not mean they don't enjoy the attention and celebration. No matter the age a child loves being the center of attention. By the time they are 3 they are really starting to get it. August is the youngest in his playgroup, he will turn 3 in May and they all turned 3 in February. On top of that most of our friends kids are February and March birthday's, so we have had quite a few parties in the last month. Since they have ended, I have had endless discussions on when is his party, what are we going to do, can he have cake, mmmm....no I want cupcakes, no pizza mommy, I want sandwiches, can we get balloons, no party hats...and on and on and on. I love it! I love that he has an opinion and knows just what he wants to do. I am a little saddened that I don't get to plan every detail myself in a coordinating theme and fashion, but hey, it's not my party it's his.
That's the point. The day should be about celebrating them (your child). Some people may see it as indulgent or frivolous. I personally don't believe there is anything wrong with telling your child he is special and celebrating that. Besides, they are only young once. One day they will grow up and like many of us, birthday's will be just another day. Maybe it will include nice dinner or a dessert or maybe it will pass without notice. Kids don't need big huge parties with performers and swag bags. Most will delight in a small get together with friends and family with special treats they don't get everyday. A balloon, a cupcake, pizza (or if your my son, sandwiches)! The point is making the day something special and different, just like your child.