I'm not sure who enjoys birthday parties more: me or the kid
that is being celebrated.
I'm the kind of mom that has always thoroughly enjoyed planning
birthday parties; I simply can't understand moms that get stressed
out over kid party planning. I love creating cute invites, baking
themed cakes, brainstorming party games, booking fun venues. I love
going on the requisite shopping spree at the party store, picking
out fun napkins and plates. I love stuffing the car trunk with
balloons and festooning our home with streamers. I love seeing all
the kids gathered around the table and watching my kid blow out the
I've done (lots of) Lego, Star Wars, Circus, Bob the Builder,
Nerf, and Teletubbies themed parties. Not only have we always had a
kid's party, but also an extended family party as well as an
intimate family party. Yep - that's three parties! Childhood is
fleeting, and what can I say, I love celebrating!
But mid-February, when I asked my March birthday boy: "What kind
of party would you like this year?" he paused for a moment then
said, "Mom, this year I just want a family party. And I want to
have some of my friends over during my birthday week. But no
special friends party this year."
My reaction: "?????!!!!!!"
My son is turning double digits. He doesn't have that one and
only intimate circle of (mostly mom-managed) friends like he did
when he was a tot. Now he's forging his own friendships: he's got
friends at school, old friends and neighborhood friends. He
explained that it would be next to impossible to get all these
people into our house for a party - and that besides, he just loves
his family party most of all.
I've also noticed that most of his friends have tapered off the
kiddie birthday party thing. One of my friends held a last hurray
to kiddie birthday parties this year - she's stopping at age 10
with them, too - and hired a snake charmer to entertain the
And so it is: The era of the themed birthday party for my son
has come to an end. I guess I couldn't expect that he'd have Thomas
the Tank Engine and LEGO parties well into his teens. Instead this
past weekend our large family gathered to celebrate with a dinner
party, the menu chosen by the birthday boy.
I still found myself stuffing the birthday balloons in the car,
I still baked his cake of choice, and I still caught myself
bursting with joy upon watching him make his wish and blow out his
candles. Now the question is: How did these past 10 years fly by so
Amy Bizzarri is a mom of two living in Logan Square. She also blogs at tiramisumom.com.
See more of Amy's stories here.
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