Happy Birthday to you!
In our house, birthdays are a big deal.
It’s that one day of the year where everything gets to be about you.
I’m thinking I make it a bigger deal because having grown up as one of five children, I appreciate the attention of an entire day all about me.
Your birthday is your special day, and you don’t have to share it with anyone else. Luckily no one shares a birthday in our house, or this wouldn’t work. For the most part, the birthday girl (or boy) gets to decide everything we do for the day – within reason.
Fortunately, for the girls, they have summer birthdays, so they don’t have to worry about school. I was able to manage the last four years to take Cassidy and Amelia’s birthdays off of work to spend with them. Due to events at my previous job I was never able to take mine off until now. With my new job I get my birthday off – well okay I get the whole summer off.
Cassidy started deciding what to do on her special day when she turned three. That day consisted of donuts, a bike ride to the park, hot dogs and Cheetos for lunch and ice cream. Three-year-old dreams aren’t too exotic.
Many times we can offer suggestions to the birthday girl, and sometimes we have to reign her in a bit.
Even a six-year-old can dream up a very expensive day.
This past year Amelia turned two, and she was a bit young to tell us what she wanted to do, so we helped her out a bit. That ended up working out well because Brian was home sick and we had to take him to the doctor as part of her special day. We did manage to coordinate some time at the splash pad near his doctor’s office and the park – swinging is her favorite thing to do. Then we went home and worked on decorating cakes because their joint birthday party was the next day.
Then on Cassidy’s birthday two days later we went to the local pool, we ate at her favorite restaurant- McDonald’s, and she and I went to the movies while the other two napped.
Neither day was extravagant, but each was all about the birthday girl and her favorite things. I am confident that as my children get older, they will remember their special days and how it made them feel. They have been fortunate to get to spend a birthday or two in Disney World as well. I think those might go down as the most memorable birthdays. Regardless, even the simpler birthdays have been treasured by all because we spent time together honoring the birthday person. Further proof that experiences are far more important than things.
The special days aren’t just for the kids either. Both Brian and I get to decide what we want to do on our birthdays as well. Last year I went on a run, we went out for ice cream to my favorite place, we went out for dinner and visited Blackberry Farm. It was a very relaxed and fun birthday.
For Brian’s birthday we have gone golfing, he has had game days with his friends, and we’ve gone out to dinner, or I’ve made him his favorite meals.
Birthdays are the perfect time to focus on that one person and what their favorite things to do are.
What do you do for your birthday or your children’s birthday to make them special?