"Oooh my gosh, when is his party? and "Do you have a theme picked out, I bet you have a Pinterest board going for all the party decorations!"
But my reply isn't what people expect. When I tell them "Actually, we aren't having a party for him." I get a range of expressions in return. Some give me looks of shock, some confusion, and some actually look at me like they are sad that I choose not to throw a birthday party for my child.
But let me explain.
When Philip and I had our first baby, I had this vision of what all of his Birthday's would be like. Tons of planning and prepping, cute invitations, lots of decorations, family, friends, yummy food, games... etc etc. But Philip, he had a different idea. He prefers to keep things simple. The less fuss, the better... and limit it to family only. So for Bennett's 1st Birthday party, we compromised. Philip agreed to have a party, and I agreed to keep it low key. And I'm happy to say, I accomplished that goal. Bennett's 2nd Bithday rolled around and I managed to convince Philip that we should throw another party, only this time, invite a few more people. In March 2012 my second son was born, and I vowed to have only a first birthday party for him and then after that, no more parties for a while.
And here's why.
After organizing and executing 3 Birthday parties, and not even big parties at that, I realized two things.
1) I don't like planning parties. But most importantly...
2) ... I was missing the point.
Throwing a party is supposed to be ALL about my child, celebrating them and they're day of birth, and the blessing that they truly are. But instead, it ended up being all about me and the entertaining the people that came. Worrying about getting the food and decorations done in time. And then being a crazy person that morning making sure the kids didn't ruin it all before the guests showed up. Oh and don't get me started on the clean up. Obviously, it could be a failure on my part but that isn't what a Birthday should be like. At least not in my opinion. And it goes without saying that I love our family and friends, as do my kiddos so we're sad that they won't be included in things. But... I really want to simplify, and I feel the best way to celebrate with my kids, is to truly put all of the attention on them. And only them.
So. We've taken up a tradition that on the kids' Birthdays, we drop the other sibling off with a loving family member and take the Birthday Boy out on the town to do whatever his little heart desires. Last year, we took Bennett down to the pier and took him to lunch, then we took a ride on the Seattle Great Wheel, followed by a trip to the Pacific Science Center where he got his mind blown at the Dinosaur exhibit.
Scenes from Bennett's 3rd Birthday outting last year:
Lastly. Although this is how we choose to do things when the kids are young, doesn't mean they won't ever have birthday parties. I realize that when children get a bit older, they will probably want to include their friends, which is totally fine. So Philip and I have agreed that when they boys get into grade school, we will leave it up to them, whether they want to have a birthday party, or not. And if they choose not to, we will be perfectly happy continuing this tradition with them. :)
So how about you? Would you ever consider something like this? Or are you a party planner?