of birthdays, and one in particular
|March 4, 2013||Posted by Mama under family life|
Pal, our third baby, turned three years old last Friday.Once a little baby, who preferred cuddling and nursing all day, now he is a little man with his own ideas and opinions. Just the other day he solved a problem on how to get to the moon by suggesting we use a ladder.
Our little man has traded baby rattles and pacifiers for Lego, toy guns, and a bag full of hand tools. And we couldn’t be more proud.
To celebrate his life, the six of us gathered together Friday evening for pizza, cake and ice cream, gifts, and a family movie. The pictures didn’t come out as nice as I would like. The lighting is hard in our camper at night, which is why you don’t see many photos taken at night here.
This is a new tradition for us – celebrating with only our immediate family on our children’s birthdays. Instead of planning, buying for, traveling to, and cleaning up after three birthday parties every year (soon to be four), this year, after Chickie’s first, we will spend their birthdays just the six of us, doing something special, and then once every summer, when the weather is more fitting, we will have all our loved ones up to the homestead for a big party.
We did a lot of thinking, weighing pros and cons about whether this was a good idea or not. The biggest question of concern was whether it might lead the kids to think their birthdays were not as special. We talked about it with them, and they decided they liked our idea of waiting for a bigger party in the summer when they can invite friends they don’t normally get to invite, and play games and have fun foods that we haven’t been in the habit of offering at previous parties.
The idea is that by creating this new tradition, we will have the freedom to mark birthdays however the kids and we choose, and be able to offer a larger party in the summer, when snow and the cold don’t force us to seek accommodation away from home.
The pros quickly outweighed the very few cons, but for me, one of my favorite things about it is that I can now really enjoy my kids on their birthdays. We have now hosted 13 birthday parties, and even though they were all fun and I’m glad we had them, I was so busy orchestrating the events, serving cake and soda, taking pictures, cleaning messes, and otherwise organizing things that I didn’t get to see much of the gift opening, the cake all over the face, their reactions to everything. Sure I have pictures and video to remind myself, but I didn’t really feel present at the moment, which is sad.
Last Friday was our first experience celebrating alone, and yes it was strangely quiet compared to the hubbub of 20 loved ones, but it was just what I hoped for. Atlas enjoyed every minute, and I soaked in the peacefulness and joy of simply being able to cuddle my birthday boy while he played with his new toys.
Knowing we will have the freedom to celebrate however we wish on their birthdays, I am at the same time anticipating the summer family celebration with excitement. Or maybe it is because I will have already had the opportunity to enjoy their birthdays, that I can look forward to this big event. Together with the kids, Papa and I have been jotting down ideas we would like to try, and I know (even with all the planning, buying, baking, and cleaning up), that we will have a blast.
But this weekend it was all about Pal, the tool man as we like to call him. Leaving toddlerhood behind and becoming a little boy. Happy birthday. We love you.