let me just say, i don’t know how to do birthdays. when i was growing up we didn’t celebrate birthdays much. in fact i don’t remember having a single birthday party at all growing up. (part of that may be because it falls one week before christmas and we were usually traveling to or getting ready to go to california.)
deb on the other hand considers birthdays as national holidays. i’m not really sure of the extent of how they celebrated when she was a child; but nonetheless, she loves celebrating birthdays. she even likes to feel extra special on 1/2*, 3/4, 1/6 birthdays (actually every month on the 22nd). in fact prior to her most recent birthday she said she considered birthdays so wonderful because they were like christmas and valentine’s day rolled into one.
so because they’re a big deal to deb we try to make them a big deal for our kids. i still don’t consider them a big deal and i guess have been conditioned to not really care if anything is done on my birthday or not. but i try to support deb in her enthusiasm as best as i can. it’s not like we spend extravagantly on fancy cakes, or huge parties, or lavish gifts. no, instead we simply try to go out of our way on that day to make the person feel special.
well for some of our kids when their sister is being treated like the “princess” of the day because it’s their birthday and they are not; then they feel like dirt. obviously we aren’t treating them like dirt but that’s how they feel. and those are valid feelings to young kids. but then if you treat all of them as princesses of the day then that doesn’t make the day extra special for the birthday kid.
so i was feeling sorta bad for anna this past tuesday because she was really bummed all day. she just felt her birthday was “SOOOO far away” and “how come danielle gets [everything]?” and “well i want [that] too!” i know we try to explain to each of them when it’s not their birthday that they get the same special treatment when it is their birthday. and that today it’s so and so’s turn. but i guess they just can’t comprehend it at their age.
and then there’s the idea that we’ve heard other large* families do. we’ve heard that some large families only celebrate certain milestone birthdays such as 5, 10, 13, 16; and they make them extra special. otherwise you’d be spending a lot on birthdays every year for every kid plus the parents. but then if we took this approach, to which kid do we then say, “we’re starting a new birthday system now and this birthday isn’t special enough. you’re only turning 6. so you don’t get anything this year; you gotta wait another 4 years until you turn 10!” i don’t know how well that would fly.
anyways . . . back to anna. she looked like she was feeling more like alexander than our wonderful anna. at least until after dinner time. we were cleaning up and anna comes bolting out of the office all excited.
“mom, dad, i lost my tooth!”
she’d lost her first tooth. it had been loose for a while now and was well overdue. needless to say it just made her day. she was so excited for the rest of the evening. in fact danielle’s aunt and uncle came by a little bit later to give danielle here birthday present and when anna first heard their voices from the other room she came running to greet them, pushing her way up to share her good news. i don’t think she even cared that the whole reason they had come over was to give danielle a present. she was glad to have someone to share her news with. 🙂
PS. mom i made the font a little bit bigger for you. i hope it’s easier for you to read now.
// today i’m thankful for:
1. God picking the perfect day for anna to lose her tooth
2. our costco membership
3. finally finding the other house phone 🙂
4. our pizza hut dinner last night
5. jumbo chocolate muffins
* don’t most people stop celebrating half birthdays and such when they’re like ten?
** deb and i had a conversation the other day of what is considered a large family. i think to most americans three kids is the “big” end of a “normal family”. four kids makes you a “big family”. and five or more kids is a “large family”. ironically many of our closest friends have 4 or more kids so for us we’re just “normal”. 🙂