Our baby girl turns three at the end of this month. I’ve been thinking a lot about her special day and, honestly, my head hurts just thinking about it. The headline on the May issue of Parents magazine’s reads “Birthday Blowout!” That’s what I feel my head is going to do if I’m not careful.
When I was little, birthdays looked something like this:
My family would gather together–aunts, uncles, cousins and a very small handful of friends. There would be cake, ice cream, and perhaps party hats. And love. Yeah, love.
Here’s what Katie’s birthday party looked like last year:
We did a tea party theme (I know, right?! When I was a kid, the theme was IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY!).
The menu included shaved roast beef sandwiches with homemade creamy horseradish sauce, a variety of tea sandwiches, pasta salad, fruit salad, sliced strawberries, fruit kabobs, and fresh raspberry lemonade.
The goody bags were filled with necklace kits, bracelets, stickers, and the like. We had thirty guests, twelve of whom were children. We had balloons everywhere, we set up craft stations both inside and out, and blah, blah, blah, you get the picture.
How did this happen? Keeping up with the Jones’, that’s how.
Parties these days are different and there is this overwhelming part of me that wants Katie to have the same things that her peers are having. Over the past couple of years, we’ve been to parties at gymnastics facilities, indoor playgrounds, parties with bounce houses in the backyard, and I even have a friend who hired actresses to dress up as princesses to make the rounds at her child’s party.
Katie has loved attending these parties, and I while I applaud the mothers who put together these elaborate celebrations, there is a part of me that wished they’d knock it off.
Last year, I was so busy making sure thirty people were having a good time, that I barely saw Katie. I feel as though I robbed myself of memories of my sweet girl turning two. We’ve decided that we’re just not doing it this year.
So, I’m declaring here that we’re keeping it simple. Just a small handful of people, lots of love, and a bounce house. (Yeah, we kinda promised that one.)