I have recently found myself struggling with the first birthday party dilemma. I rationalize theories such as no one remembers turning one; that it is more for the parents than the child; I don’t want to milk the occasion for gifts and most of the people that we'd invite wouldn't come.
On the other hand, I do want to make every effort to give the same things to my second child as I have given to my first. I am already failing miserably. She wears hand me downs and plays with the same toys. I have filmed a miniscule amount of video footage as what I did with Strawberry. (Here's Strawberry sleeping, oh look another angle of her sleeping, now a close up of her sleeping… Endless hours of entertainment that only a mother or a grandmother could sit through.) I pushed for and celebrated every milestone but have now adapted a more relaxed parenting style.
All this led me to conclude that I could not pass up the opportunity to create some special birthday photos for Buttercup, as that is where the memories hide. Who doesn't love looking at photos of their first birthday? I've cherished the smiling picture of me in my crib that my mother took first thing on the morning that I turned one. I love looking at the two special birthday cakes that marked the big occasion. I note how my relatives made the extra long road trip to another province with my young cousins in tow. Ah, the first birthday!
I know to take pictures of the cake before the baby puts her fingers in the icing. To delight in the moment when she discovers the sweet goodness. I know balloons are mesmerizing and that colourful wrapping paper on the outside beats the present on the inside. As I have tried to learn from my mistakes, I now know the importance of the birthday card to a child that cannot read.
It's at special occasions like birthdays and holidays that I miss my family with an extreme intensity. They know how to celebrate, to come together as a family to create lasting memories. Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthdays were a time of laughter and food. If I could magically cut and rearrange the map of our magnificent country to place my prairie hometown within a couple hours driving time to Toronto, that would be perfection.
Of course the days just seem to disappear and time is escaping me. I realized that I needed to do something fast. Quick: Order me up some super cool parents with children. Consider yourself officially invited thanks to Mama Blogs Toronto and HBM. That is, of course if you can easily find your way to this section of the real world. If it is easier to virtual travel, expect some photos of babies smooshing cake next week.