|4 kids - 43 birthdays|
I made the announcement in December that we were not having birthday parties this year. Honestly, I was tired of parties and couldn't even think why, but now having totaled up all the celebrations over the years, I have my answer.
Over the past 14 years, my kids have had 43 birthdays. Add to that the Korean 100-Day celebration for each of them and we’re up to 47 days of commemorating their birth.
We've had a party almost every year. Let's say we've had 40 birthday parties. That's 40 times when we've had decorated cakes, a bunch of friends, gave out candy and teeny-toy trinket filled gift bags (whose idea was that anyway?), and played games. We've had parties all over the place: at home, the bowling alley, Chuck E Cheese, McDonald’s.
And when the party did not fall on the actual birthday, i.e. a Saturday, there was the actual birthday-day cake, favorite dinner with the family, and gifts. And if Dad was traveling on the actual birthday-day, there was the dinner with dad before he went out of town birthday dinner. And on top of all that, add the cupcakes sent to school.
Count it. We are close to 60, if not more, birthday celebrations. That's for 4 kids who haven't even reached high school yet.
We've never really got into the realm of fantabulous-ness that kids’ birthdays have become. Friends, food, fun, cake - but not taking out a home loan to fund any of them. There's never been a pony (my daughter went to one of those in pre-school), a celebrity sighting (another pre-school shindig), or special dress required (except the one princess and knight party). But it’s still a lot. And admittedly, some of my tiger-ish mom upbringing kicks in and I think about the fact that I did not have a party every year as a kid, and somehow survived.
This year, we're taking a page from my brother and a few other friends, and going with the no-party, just family celebration plan. Six invitees to the party and a fun activity that we all can enjoy. Thus far we’ve hung out at Dave & Buster’s, gone rock-climbing, and had lots of cake. One more to go, I can only imagine what she’ll have us do.
Happy 44th kids!