Thursday, April 14, 2016
In Defense of the Overdone Birthday
One day out of the year I’m the Pinterest Perfect Mom. I don’t hand make Valentine’s cards or Thanksgiving pies by scratch. I won’t knit my daughter a personalized Christmas stocking or decorate the exterior of the house to the extreme for Santa. I can’t even remember putting together an Easter egg hunt or basket to date. No, there’s only one day a year I care about everything being thought out and beautiful and that is my birthday.
Some might say March 31st is my daughter Charlotte’s birthday but it’s not…it’s her BORNday. That day is in actuality MY BIRTHday because it was the Easer I labored for 8 hours un-medicated to bring my daughter into this world. Three years ago my life changed forever as I became a mom for the first time. When her first born day approached in 2014 I knew I wanted to make it extra special so I enlisted the help of my friend Lacee. I had seen Lacee’s baby shower photos on facebook and was astounded when she told me she had pulled the whole thing off by herself. Lacee turned her passion for baking and decorating into a business called Bash + Butter so she was perfect for the job.
I don’t even want to tell you how much I spent to bring my daughter’s Charlotte’s Web party to life that first year. I invited everyone that had seen us through our journey as first time parents to celebrate. To keep my daughter alive and thriving for a whole year seemed a momentous occasion and we were renting a house at the time so I didn’t care how many people attended. The more of everything the better.
My husband accepted year one for having a large party but wasn’t too keen on a repeat for the second year milestone. He’s the type of person who would rather forget his birthday than celebrate. Growing up, however, birthdays were always a big occasion in my household. I was one of four children so the majority of the year was spent sharing and sacrificing for the greater good. Our born day was the one day out of 365 where we could have and do anything we liked. My grandmother would cook us anything we desired for dinner and purchase the cake we wanted most. Out of all the chairs around her dining room table only one would have balloons tied to it and that was the mark of your special day. My day in May is still more of a week-long celebration which frequently involves travel to another country or state. I want Charlotte to have that same feeling about the day she was born- the feeling that you’re important, you matter, you’re here for a reason and people love you.
So for her second birthday I may have invited fewer guests to make my husband happy but we still had an amazing Tutu’s and Ties for Two party.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. This is also true of pulling off the perfect Pinterest worthy party. This year I have many people to thank for helping me bring Charlotte’s Fairy Special Third Birthday to life. Lacee was my go to for the invites and all the sweet treats. She’s taught me a few tricks on decorating and table presentation so I don’t rely on her as heavily for that aspect anymore but she takes my food ideas and brings them to life. From cheesecakes in a shot glass to donut holes and pretzel wands everything was covered in edible glitter and dazzled the eyes and stomachs of each guest.
My friend Crystal who attended my first Telluride Yoga + Hiking Retreat graciously provided me with the floral arrangement for Charlotte’s second celebration. She inspired me at my yoga retreat because she had quit her day job to become a florist. She told me she just enjoyed being around beautiful things all day that made people happy. Her company Azalea Botanics is thriving and I enlisted her to make my daughter a fairy garden that would double as the centerpiece for the party. I want to teach my daughter responsibility by gifting her with plants that will far outlast one day’s celebration. Crystal created a miniature world so beautiful and special and I cannot thank her enough for this.
Jackie is a fellow contributor for the Denver Metro Mom’s Blog and a woman I also admire for having her own business – Fancy Flamingo. I know firsthand it’s not easy being a small business owner and I’ve enjoyed seeing her creations through her companies’ Instagram page. She was having her own celebration of success by holding a contest which I entered and won! I never win anything so I was truly humbled and grateful to receive this handmade banner from her for Charlotte’s big day.
Turning three meant I also had to step up my game as a party hostess so I arranged for a special guest to arrive and meet Charlotte. I must admit I had counted on 11 children so I was a little disappointed when not all of them showed. I had to remind myself though that since my daughter was the guest of honor she’s the only one who truly mattered and I couldn’t worry about anyone else who couldn’t attend.
All the way from Pixie Hollow came Tinkerbell. As a first time mom this was also my first time hiring entertainment but I was so happy I did. The 45 minutes Tinkerbell visited gave the children someone to focus on and she did an amazing job of singing, granting fairy wishes, reading a story and hand painting. Charlotte could hardly speak three words to her she was so in awe. I know my child can be shy because we’ve had disasters with Santa and the Easter bunny so we prepped her well in advance on her special guest’s arrival. To see the look on her face when Tinkerbell walked in the door and gave her a rose will be a memory that melts my heart even on the coldest days.
My parents flew out and with their help and the cooperation of my husband we were able to give my daughter another amazing party. As I was cleaning up the mounds of glitter left behind once everyone had left my mother commented, “The best hour of your life is the one after your child’s birthday party is over because you know you have 365 more days until you must do it again.”
“That’s the problem, “my husband chimed in. “We know we HAVE to do this all over again next year.”
I smiled to myself. I don’t mind the work, the money, the hours of clean up and set up and take down necessary to host. All of that pales in comparison to the work it took to bring Charlotte earth side and I’ll never forget her born day. I remind myself soon she’ll probably want a pizza party at a bowling alley or in the future maybe she won’t even want to spend our day with me.
Until then her day is mine.