With expectations like that, it’s no wonder that I was often disappointed on my big day. When I was five, I remember being so mad that I ended up spending most of the party under my bed. The problem? My mom wouldn’t make the other moms go home and leave all 15 kids for my parents to take care of at the party! I wanted only kids at my party. Oh dear. Do you get a sense of what my parents were dealing with?
My expectations only became grander as I got older. When I was in college, my birthday always fell during spring break, so of course I had to take a trip, right? That’s exactly what I convinced my parents and it worked pretty well for me. I was in for quite a rude awakening after college when the trips ended. Later, in my thirties, I decided to stop waiting for someone else to throw me a party–I started throwing them for myself. The funny thing is, even I could not live up to my own expectations!
Now, time has turned the tables on me. I no longer expect parties and lavish gifts on my birthday. I don’t need them. I have the most amazing almost 5-year old on my hands. My girl gave me a sleepy hug this morning and wished me a happy birthday. It was the best gift I could ever wish for.
Her birthday is in May. She is definitely a chip off the old block when it comes to birthdays. She is already talking about what she wants to do (bounce house party), who she wants to invite (everyone from preschool and every waitress we meet), and what she wants us to give her (American Girl Doll and a guitar!). As a parent, I want to give her everything she wants. I want her to have not only “things” but amazing memories of her birthdays. I know I’ll be the mom who stays up until 1 in the morning the night before her birthday, working on frosting her cake to make it as amazing as she pictured it in her head and finalizing the details of her perfect party. And that’s just the way I like it.