For some parents, birthdays are a big occasion with lots of fuss. There is a party with lots of friends, cake and ice cream, and of course a ton of presents. There is also a lot of stress over the planning, buying and preparing food, and taking care of such details as the decorations and the obligatory loot bags. Wow! With all that going on, it’s pretty hard to focus on the real reason for celebrating a birthday: because it marks another milestone in a child’s life.
We try not to fuss too much over birthdays in our house. Money has often been tight, as has the space to hold a party. And more often than not, my husband has to work on birthdays or at least one of my kids is away from home. So we celebrate quietly and we try to spread things out a bit. A long distance call from a sibling away at work today, a special treat tomorrow, a favourite meal for supper another night. And somewhere in there, the kids usually go on an outing with their grandparents too. But it’s all small and low-key, mostly family or close friends. And the kids have learned to appreciate the little things that people do to mark their birthdays – like drawing them a picture or making a homemade card.
No Longer a Little Girl
My youngest just turned 12. It seems only yesterday that she was this tiny little girl with a huge grin and a favourite pink coat. But soon she’ll be out on the parade square learning drill with her friends at cadets, and before long she’ll be away for summer training like her sisters. In just another year, she’ll be heading off to high school. And if we’re not careful and we blink too much, she’ll be graduating college and moving out on her own!
So today I’m taking time out not to host a big party or to fuss over balloons and loot bags, but to really notice my not-so-little girl. This birthday is a pretty big milestone in her young life. And if I look back on all the growing she’s done, I can see she’s come such a long way!
Do you take the time to really look at your kids and think about all the growing they’ve done? When their birthdays and other milestones come around, do you remember the reason behind the celebration rather than getting caught up in all the cake and ice cream, and fuss?
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Original content © 2016 Kyla Matton Osborne
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