So. Last week. Jack turns three. I’m feeling “guilty” for not giving him a “good party”. We’re in a strange new town (strange in more ways than one), with very few friends, all of them new. The mountain passes are full of snow and ice, so, even if our family was well (several recent hospitalizations) enough to brave them, the drive is dangerous.
Add to all that, “Dad” has a broken leg, and is still in a lot of pain from the surgery. So, we spend the day just “us”. It’s the first time since Frank was born that there hasn’t been at least family and a few close friends getting together for birthdays. Of course, everyone lived close (one to forty miles.)
I’m actually in the frozen food aisle the day before the birthday, on the phone with my Mom, trying to decide if I should buy a “store-bought” cake. I’ve NEVER done that for a family party before… except maybe two ice-cream cakes, which are kinda tough to make (for me), so, I justified them… but just a regular, plain-Jane cake from the bakery? Never! Anyway, I’m trying to decide this, with my Mom, on the phone, at the store, frozen food aisle, and I spontaneously start crying. I’m tired. Actually, I'm exhausted. And now I’m feeling guilty because Frank’s third birthday party (probably the one I’m most proud of putting together) was TOTALLY COOL… and right up a three-year-old’s alley.
Elmo’s World: Bubbles
That was the theme for the party. The invites and gift bags were handmade (by Frank and I). There were LOTS of bubbles – soap bubbles, balloon bubbles, packaging bubbles (for shipping / stomping on), bubbles, bubbles, bubbles! This thing was planned out! Ever seen “Elmo’s World” on Seasame Street? We EVEN had an appearances by an expert, "The Bubble Lady" (a school-teacher friend talking about bubbles when we wash our hands) and our own “Mr. Noodle” (aka Dad, dressed in the garb and acting goofy out the back sliding glass door “window”, where the kids were all sitting and could watch. Oh yeah, there was even face-painting.
Let me just say this… I had an agenda and time-line for the party! Who does that? For a party? For a three-year old? Me! That’s who! And given the chance, I would have done it again for Jack this year.
You may wonder why I’m telling you all this? All that time. All that effort. It was ONLY two years ago, so, I just ask Frank “do you remember you’re third birthday party?”
What?!?! He has to remember, just HAS TO!
I prompt him… “you know, Elmo’s World?”
He gets a goofy grin and nods.
“What do you remember?”
Hmmpfh! All that time and planning and just two years later, all he can remember is presents? After the event, I was so proud because he said his favorite part of the day was “spending time with my friends and family”. What happened to that? What happened to our Elmo theme? Nothing. All he remembers is presents. :P
What do YOU remember about your third birthday?
Have you done a party for a child that you were especially proud of? Do they still remember it?
What do you think children remember about birthdays? What makes for good holiday celebrations? Traditions? Right now I’m thinking about Birthday’s. What are some of your favorite traditions from when you were young? Do you plan to or have you continued them with your kids?
I want to know. Tell me all about those special birthday celebrations. Let me hear it!