Fifteen to twenty years ago (FYI-still not totally convinced I should be able to remember back that far despite the almost 12 years of marriage, three children and numerous birthdays) if I’d been picking a film to watch, it was the deep, ‘thinky’, real-life tear jerker every time. Oh how things change! As I’ve got older, my default choice has become the comedic, care-free, escapist, feel-good option. Why? Well, I think as we journey through life, reality and events we face mean that there are times when the tears are jerked in circumstances beyond our control and so, now, I think it’s really important to focus on the happy and celebrate the special moments in life. For us, birthdays are always worthy of a celebration and so, as I’ve mentioned before, it’s the perfect opportunity to break out a theme and have some fun!
As we make plans to celebrate the milestone that is turning 6 very soon, I’ve been thinking about past parties we’ve had for other birthdays over the years of our little people. Once we’ve decided on a theme, there are invitations, decorations, a cake, food, activities and a party bag all to think about and (forgetting the whole leaving too much to the last minute and bein up waaaaay too late the night before) I love it!!
When my little people start discussing birthday plans months before the event itself, I do sometimes wonder, much like Frankenstein, about the monsters I’ve created but, truth be told, I wouldn’t have it any other way! I think it also helps take the focus away from the fact that another whole entire year has passed and, before long, they will heading towards grown-upness. A condition I utterly refuse to face just yet.
There are so many birthday party opportunities and available activities out there right now, it’s no wonder people feel overwhelmed and, I think there is an increasing pressure on parents to spend big money but truthfully, I don’t think it’s necessary. Personally, while I’m sure there are times my little people wish I had a Mary Poppins’ bag style bank account which permitted every wish to be granted, I love the fact that you can have a really special occasion without maxing out your credit card.
I’ve always enjoyed the party-at-home option and while there is definitely a fair bit of advance preparation needed, I’ve never regretted the time and effort… Not to mention the fact that I honestly think it’s possible to have a party to make a little person smile without it costing the earth!
So, as the ready-roll icing is put through its paces once more and we make preparations for our next big event later this week, I got to thinking about some of the ideas that we have ‘prepared earlier’ (underlying ‘never did get a Blue Peter badge’ issues may still linger ;o) ) Organisational skills permitting, I hope to share some of our previous parties with you very soon.
Disclaimer: none of our parties have been Pinterest perfect (a mummy can dream, though, right?!) and we make no claim to being experts in party planning and throwing, but, we’ve had a lot of fun and, above all, everything we’ve done has been powered by love. It may have taken many sleepless hours, it may look nothing in reality like it did when you planned it in your head, but, when two little eyes light up and a smile takes over that wee face, well, it’s all worth it.
In short, there’s nothing quite like the power of love to give you the will to keep going and so, for as long as they let me and as long as I can, I hope to plan for those special occasions, celebrating the incredible gifts of love we have been entrusted with. The events themselves will be a million miles from the images in my dreams and will never be absolutely perfect but, I guess it’s those ‘perfect imperfections’ that make them memorable and unique… Because what child doesn’t deserve to be celebrated? And to borrow further from John Legend, ‘all of me loves all of them’ and no amount of ready-roll icing will ever be enough to fully express that.