As we age they tend to be less important. Not a big hullabaloo anymore…apart from those ending in a zero! But that’s OK. We’ve had the fanfare and most of us grown up types just wish for a dinner cooked by someone else…anyone really. Not looking forward to a child’s birthday though…that’s weird.
It has always been this way. Some years more than others. The year she turned four I suddenly realised she hadn’t had a proper birthday party (apart from the very first one… which we had for us). It terrified me that she may die never having handed out lolly bags to her friends so a lavish fairy party was flung together complete with accessible, home made “pin the wings on the fairy”. Then there was the lead up to number 6. For some reason my thoughts were completely focused on an odd statistic I had heard along with a few recent tales of real children, similar to my girl, dying before they were six. I think I held my breath for a couple weeks until the magic 6 years and 1 day clocked over. Mostly though the birthday lead up is just tricky. Chronic sorrow kicks off and the “what ifs”, missed milestones and memories of early days create a sad fog in my head.
The practicalities are…well impractical. Those missed milestones mean smaller developmental changes so her ability to access toys hasn’t changed too much over the years. I wander the shops and despair over what she can’t do when I normally concentrate on what she can. Many times I walk back out of toy shops teary and stomping on the unfairness of it all on my way. Missy loves baking and the ceremony of singing with candles on a cake but it seems plain wrong to only celebrate with food in front of a non-eater. Partys are fun. A party to incorporate activities for all and not be centred around food (so not McDonalds) in a place that can accommodate several wheelchairs (yep…definitely not McDonalds) is a challenge…but not impossible.
It’s all possible. I will find a lovely present. The party will work…and be fun. We will sing to the light of 11 candles (e l e v e n…..woah) and she will taste the icing. My head will end up able to celebrate eleven years (there it is again) with this delightful little person. For it is an incredible gift to share time with her and guide her through life and no mean feat for her to keep forging through all her challenges. But. For now. I will allow myself to feel a little sad. It may be the anniversary of her birth…but it also commemorates an enormously frightening and uncertain time. So I shall reflect…. then get back to helping her glitter the invitations.
Notes of a celebratory nature….
This year the princess has chosen a “Rock Star” theme and wishes to invite friends from both her special and mainstream schools.
*Everyone can dress up.
*The venue we have chosen has no steps and a proprietor willing to move some furniture to allow more space.
*Activities Missy has chosen include: temporary tattoos, musical chairs with spots on the floor for wheelys and walkers, pass the parcel (always a winner) and a rock star photo booth.
*Lolly bags will include a toy or bubbles for kids who don’t eat.
*Fun will be had by all…including her slightly crazy, stress head mother!
Check out the play centre if you are planning a party soon…. https://www.facebook.com/Ferntreegullyplay?fref=ts