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Meaningful Birthday

I love this kid, even if I'm not throwing her a big party!
Baby Loquacious turns one in less than two months. Time to start thinking about birthday parties.

I am going to be that mom. No, not that one - not the kind that throws the perfect, colour-and-theme-coordinated blow-out bash complete with matching cake, pony rides, bouncy castles and goodie bags for 50 -100 closest friends and family (and their kids). I'm going to be that other mom, the one who is doing a super small, minimalist celebration that might only include family and a handful of others, leaving some to perhaps snicker that I'm cheap, lazy, selfish or apathetic.

Shocked? The trend right now is to go big or go home, at least according to many new parents' Pinterest boards (look it up and you'll see what I mean), and all the chatter I'm hearing/reading from mommies with babies around Baby L's age; we're talking hand-made gift bag tags and banners, home-baked cake pops, and decorating that rivals Christmas.  It seems that there is much social pressure to throw a major party, as though anything less would be tantamount to child deprivation. The underlying message and sentiment is that if you love your kid, you will make a big ass deal about his/her first birthday. The implication is that the size and magnitude of the party (or the number of man hours invested into making it happen) determines or reflects, in equal proportion, the depth of your love.

But logistically and practically, I just don't see the point. Baby L is only a year old so she won't really remember much of the event (save for what is captured on .jpg), and to be honest, she only has a handful of favorite people, half of whom don't even live in the province. My kid doesn't have very many close baby friends (none at all, really...well, maybe one or two, but they're newborns!), and is too young to appreciate a big to-do for turning one (hello, separation anxiety!).

To host a lavish affair would really be for the benefit of the grown-ups, and frankly, I hate doing sh!t for the sake of appearances or to compete with (or show off for) the Joneses.  We aren't showy like that in any other part of our life, so it's highly inconsistent if we allow ourselves to get caught up with this ridiculousness now.  Let others enter the realm of competition; I'm happy not to run that race, thankyouverymuch!

There's also a set of logistics working against us. We are going on holidays after Christmas for 3 weeks, and will be off the continent during that time. We return a scant 10 days or so before Baby L's birthday. We will be flying out again to see my Dad (who has cancer) a mere week or so after Baby L's birthday. That's a lot of travel and not a lot of recovery time. If I threw a big ol' birthday bash into the mix, I just might develop an ulcer and die.

So for a host of reasons, it makes sense to keep it small. My inlaws will be in town for her birthday, so our celebrations will most certainly include them. There are a few VIPs in my girl's life that will also be invited, should we decide to do anything beyond a simple cupcake and a song and a gift for my girl.

I'll save the "big" parties for when she's old enough to realize what's happening and help with the guest list, and for 2013 I'll leave the crazy, labour-intensive festivities to the Pinterest enthusiasts and Instagram braggarts. ;)


mitzerella said…
whether small, medium, or large, it's about celebrating accomplishment, love, life.

just as one wouldnt want to be categorized as apathetic and cheap, being put under the umbrella of just being showy is also unfair. for our culture, the 1st birthday is a modest-large scale celebration- (not one worthy of reality tv mind you) and birthdays after are all about family and VIP.

a friend who has a small circle of friends cant fathom a large party whereas my social butterfly coworker who has all her family living in the city cant imagine not inviting them to her son's celebration.

invite meaningful people in your lives and there are no regrets.
I am right there with you. No big party for us either. Just a day filled with kisses and blessings and a family. Perfect I think!

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