I don’t know why 6 seems like such a bigger number than 5. Maybe because you can’t count her years all on one hand anymore. Maybe because she’s in big girl school now. I’m not really sure.
This year Raley’s birthday has been different than every other year in the past. I am all about making a huge to-do for my kids’ birthdays. It’s the one special day a year that we get to celebrate them individually and I enjoy making sure they feel loved and special on their birthdays. In previous years I have taken Raley out of preschool on her birthday, toted her around town doing whatever it is her heart desired that day. Then we would end the day with a small family birthday dinner at Rosie’s with both sets of grandparents, complete with cake, presents, and balloons. We would also throw a big birthday party, typically the weekend before or after her actual birthday.
This year her birthday celebrations were all spread out, and it left us feeling a little strange. I guess it’s this new grade school stage of life that we’re in, and honestly I’m a little sad that the flexibility of the “preschool” stage has passed and now we’re tied down to this stage for the next 15 years. I tried so hard to hold on to those precious times, but as time has a way of doing, it slipped through my fingers. (All I can hear is Hootie in my head right now…”Tiiiiime, why you walk away….”)
Raley decided a while back that she wanted a mermaid pool party. It had to be mermaids and it had to be a pool party (because a pool party just goes with mermaids, duh!) We decided not to do a big birthday party because it made me super nervous to have so many people at a pool party, especially when a lot of her friends are swimming without floaties now. This means they’re better swimmers, but accidents can happen and the more adults there are, the more they’re distracted and their eyes are away from the kids. We decided it was best to have a small get together with a few of her MMO friends before they all went off to kindergarten. We didn’t know what the weather would be like at the end of September, and now that it’s here we realized we could have waited because it’s still 90 degrees and plenty warm enough for a pool party (insert eye roll…bring on fall!!)
All of my siblings were here a few weeks ago for a family photo shoot that we had scheduled with our photographer a while back, and since we had already done Raley’s birthday party, we decided that this would be the perfect time to do a small family celebration. We had our families over for chicken enchilada soup (Raley’s favorite. She calls it “the soup where you take a bite and take a drink” because it’s a little spicy, but she loves it!) We let the cousins play, opened presents from family, and had cake. We loved hosting everyone and even though it was super simple, Raley still felt very special.
By the time her birthday rolled around, we had already celebrated with both friends and family, but we still had to make her actual birthday fun! It’s the first time ever that I haven’t got to spend the entire day with her. I picked up some donuts the day before her birthday so she would have a special birthday breakfast. I popped in to eat lunch with her at school, surprised her with a cake pop from Starbucks, and dropped off her birthday treats for her to celebrate with her class later in the day. Her classmates were so sweet, they kept telling her happy birthday at lunch and singing to her. When she came home she was wearing a little birthday crown, so I know her teacher and her classmates made her feel special, which made my heart happy.
She had dance class after school, but we had time to stop for some ice cream at Dairy Queen before heading to dance.
After dance we went out for her birthday dinner – Rosie’s, just like every other year! But this year it was just the four of us since we’d already celebrated with family, and my parents were out of town. I brought some cupcakes for her and Audrey to have after dinner, which they were super excited about because it was piled with frosting! (I know, sweet overload today, but why not?) We let the girls throw some pennies in the fountain, came home, let her open a couple presents from us and then we called it a night.
Like I said, this birthday was different, but I know that things change as our stages of life change. I’m glad she felt loved by her family, friends, and her classmates. She’s a special girl and she deserves to feel special (just as all kids do!)
Do you have any special traditions that you do for your kids’ birthdays? Do you like big parties or small family get-togethers?