Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The End of a Birthday Era

With two kids born four days apart at the beginning of January, the "holidays" in our house never really ended until both of them had their birthday parties. Some years saw our "Birthdaypalooza" extend all the way into Martin Luther King, Jr. day. Planning their birthday parties was a task I've always taken seriously. Okay, not Pinterest-seriously, but I've put the time in.

Max's 7th birthday party
I've stressed over carefully worded Evites, and even a couple rounds of hand-printed invitations. I've hosted parties at home (this remains one of my most-read blog posts), with live entertainment, and beyond, at a few plaster painting places, giant gym complexes with huge play structures, even built a few bears (and oh, the lost coat story that accompanied that party--thankfully years later I can say the girls are still friends). I've tracked down last minute RSVPs and respectfully tried to limit non-invited siblings. I've reluctantly filled goody bags and dutifully sent out thank you notes. But I am confident enough to say that this is the year it's all coming to an end.

We had Max's seventh birthday party this past weekend, and we kept it simple. We only invited the boys in his class, and they came to our house to watch a movie. We had pizza and a homemade (by Max and Marc) cake. No goody bags, no tracking down email addresses of kids in other classes, no monitoring constantly for RSVPs. It was loud and chaotic and we're lucky no one got hurt, but Max had fun. It was exactly what he wanted it to be. I just don't think he's going to want that again.

Hannah's 11th birthday event
He won't want it again because Hannah raised the bar with her birthday. Instead of having a party, the four of us took the train into New York City for the day, to see the Broadway show "Matilda." Hannah had been wanting to do that for about six months after learning some of the music at camp last summer, but we didn't take the request seriously until it came up in conjunction with her birthday. We realized we would all enjoy going together, and added a few extras like a stop at a magic store for Max and a fabulous Kosher meal for Marc, and the day was made. The show was fun, we enjoyed being in New York, and despite a bit of rain and the long train rides, it was a really great day. I loved having this adventure together, and so did the kids.

They're growing up, and a day like that is just another sign of things to come. I'm glad to be moving on. I've had my fill of glitter-covered plaster figurines and remember-to-wear-good-socks climbing structures. See ya, birthday party stress. So long, goody bags. Bring on the new adventures.


  1. I forgot how old I was, but I remember starting the tradition of going to NY to see a show for my birthday and it was fantastic. I saw so many great shows, including Les Miz--my first ever Broadway show. My parents let me get an overpriced souvenir from the show, which I totally cherished and it was way more memorable than any birthday party I ever had. I'm still deep in the thick of parties with a 4 year old and loving it, but go you for making and embracing the change!

    1. I loved it when Hannah was four too--I will definitely treasure all the memories from those parties--but I am glad to be moving on. I hope NYC does become a tradition for us!

  2. I love this new tradition you've started with Hannah's birthday! #sofun #canIcomenexttime?