We’ve always done the same kind of party for each of the kids’ birthdays: the night before the festivities begin we fill enough helium balloons to encompass a room, shiny streamers are strung, and presents wearily wrapped. The day of, the first one to rise wakes up everyone else. Then we lumber into the living room as a group, where little eyes grow wide at the multi-color floating orbs and presents wait to be unwrapped.
Later in the day, my family comes over for a quaint get-together. My brother had to work this time, he’ll be over later this week instead, so it was a late afternoon with my parents. J fixed hot dogs on the grill, Buzz opened more gifts, then it was time to sing “Happy Birthday” with candled chocolate cake and ice cream.
I hear of these soirees with extravagant themes and houses full of relatives eager to celebrate. We don’t have a close extended family, to say the least. The last time I saw any aunts, uncles or cousins was at a funeral 7 years ago, most of whom I didn’t even recognize. I sometimes worry if I’m doing my kids a disservice by not having that. We all worry about something, right?
But then they’re happy and they’re loved and they know it. That’s what counts. Buzz had a great time, without any idea of what he might have been missing. We’re in the same boat, actually, because I never had that kind of party growing up, either. I was lucky if my grandparents even sent a card. At least my children will never have to worry about that. Their grandparents think they’re pretty awesome. I tend to agree.