Liam turns 4 on Saturday. I can’t believe it. Where have the years gone? Feels like it was just yesterday when I held him for the first time. But we’ll leave all the sentimentalism for his annual birthday post later in the week. Today’s post is about the logistics related to celebrating a child’s birthday – well my child’s birthday at least.
We toyed a lot with the idea of giving Liam a party this year. I initially wanted him to have a great big party at home but then I realized that from a cost perspective, that I couldn’t justify spending thousands on a party (yes, add it all up, a kiddies party goes into the thousands) when there were many things around the house that needed fixing, when there were school fees to be paid and debt to be settled. I then decided that I’d have a smaller more intimate party so I started making a list of all the people I would like to invite. It was a very long list – clearly we know too many people and are way to popular for our own good. Ha. So then I scratched that list out completely, and made a list that I think Liam would have made himself. Bear in mind, all Liam wants is a Spiderman cake, that’s his only request for his entire birthday, a Spiderman cake. The Liam list comprised of two children. So I went back to the drawing board and gave this birthday celebration thing a whole new once-over. Before your kids get to the age where they start telling you what they want for their birthdays, who they want at their parties, what kind of party they want… who are we actually having this party for? Yes, I want everyone present to celebrate my child’s life, to make a big hoohaa over him and make him feel as special as he is, but what’ the use of a big party when your kid would be as happy with a Spiderman cake with 4 candles? I feel like I’ve done these birthday parties for ME, more than I have for THEM. They don’t care if Peter, Sally and Joe are there or not. All they want to do is eat cake, drink pop and open presents. Please understand I am in no way trying to console myself with the fact that Liam will be “just fine” with a cake versus a big bash. But the truth is, HE WILL. And I’ve made a decision to enjoy these years of anything goes, until he gets to an age where he starts making demands for his birthday (probably next year, I am not that naïve). Anita put it so nicely when she said to me that all small children want at a party are Flings, cake and juice.
So this year, he will have his school party where he will get to celebrate with the friends who he actually spends the majority of his little life with, and his teachers will make a huge fuss over him and he’ll get to wear the birthday hat and stand in the middle of the birthday ring. On his birthday which falls on Saturday, there will be cake, chips, sweets and presents and the people who are closest to him – us, and his best buddy will also come around because they are not in school together. He is a lovable so-and-so so I’m sure there will be the odd visitor who pops by to wish him and have a piece of cake.
I am at peace with my decision to do things this way this year. And I am relieved that I’ve gotten out of serious party planning – at least for another year. Can’t wait for this kid to have his birthday though, I think I am more excited than he is. I do love making a big deal out of birthdays – party or not – because when you’re someone as special as my Liam is, you deserve a sugar rush and a Spiderman cake. And special it will be. Just like him.
Ps: he has also been promising from the time he turned 3, that he would stop sucking his thumb on his 4th birthday. Let’s see how that goes…