I sort of fell down with Little Miss’s birthday in that I didn’t think about it until about a week before her actual birthday. It was summer, and time just got away from me.
My husband is no help. When he was growing up, he never had birthdays celebrated at all. Well, I shouldn’t say that, but he never had a birthday party. As in completely, totally nothing. His mom made him a birthday cake only a few times. He doesn’t get the birthday thing, so I’m on my own.
For Mister Man, I figured out quite awhile ago what I was going to do. The trick was trying to find a time to do it. His birthday is in October. Looking back, I really didn’t plan that out too well. I didn’t get married in fall because, hello!, that’s football season. Silly me, I didn’t ensure that I wouldn’t have a child in fall.
Birthday parties generally happen on weekends and usually on Saturdays. So let’s run through my calendar this fall. Sept 13? NU football game. Sept 20? NU football game. Sept 27? Ok, actually I could do that day but it’s so early in the school year and two weeks before his birthday. Nah. Oct 4? Husband’s family reunion. Oct 11 (his actual birthday)? NU game. Oct 18? NU. Oct 25? In Florida. Nov 1? Ok, I could maybe do that although we get back from Florida on Oct 30 and Halloween is the next day and wow that would be tight. Nov 8? NU. Nov 15? Friend’s wedding in Seattle. Nov 22? NU game. Nov 29? CARE Faire that I volunteer at and the Sat of Thanksgiving weekend. Dec 6? Ok, that’s getting ridiculous.
So apparently the birthday is November 1. Was it this hard when we were growing up?
I remember my mom always throwing great parties for me. They were always at home (except for the one year I talked her into having it at Cheapskate — the local roller rink), and we always had a ton of fun.
I think my favorite was when I turned 8 and had my first big sleepover. I got to invite seven other girls, and we all had our sleeping bags. Nowaways, we probably would (ok, at least in my area) have someone come in to do hair extensions and nails and makeup, but we did it all ourselves.
We had pizza for dinner, then we started on the requisite fun. Do you remember light as a feather stiff as a board? I don’t think it worked for any of us, but we were 8, so what did we know? Then we spent hours making the prediction triangle things and asking questions of it. I actually even partly remember how to make the folded paper thing-a-ma-bob, but I can only get about five steps in. Someday I’ll have to go back and relearn how to be an 8 year old girl.
From what I remember, we stayed up until past six in the morning. My poor mom was probably sitting on the steps the whole night watching over us and worried about us. Nonetheless, she had a lovely breakfast of pancakes waiting for us around 9 or so in a vain attempt to rouse us. Parents picked up all my friends by 10 or so, and I slept the rest of the day away.
When I think back on it, all my memories of birthday parties are the things that I did with my friends. It isn’t the presents I got (or didn’t get), and it isn’t the glitz and glamour that I cared about — nor did I have it. I can only hope that the wee ones have as happy a memories of their birthdays as I do.
And yes, I’ll be the mom sitting on the steps in the middle of the night listening to the whispering and giggling and hearing my heart break as I realize that Mister Man and Little Miss are no longer wee ones.