Birthday celebrations and there importance differ from family to family. I have a friend who has three children and she says it’s important that her children know that the world doesn’t stop because it’s your birthday. “People still have to go to work,” she said. True, I guess. But to me your birthday is the only day that’s all about you. I prayed hard for my babies and the day they were born was more than just another day, it was God’s miracles revealing themselves in a very big way in my life.
So yes, my daughter’s birthday is a production. Planning begins around Thanksgiving and consists of a team of family and friends that help decide the theme, the food and the invites. We usually have a few conference calls, a gang of emails and countless text messages in preparation. Now the older she gets the more work this seems to become. I mean she is full of her OWN ideas. She has her own friends that she wants to invite and had the nerve to call her caterer/sudo auntie and tell her what she wanted on the menu. She even went so far as to have special gift requests for certain family members. She wanted her twin God-brothers to get her a bank. She wanted her first cousins to get her an umbrella. She wanted one of Jack and Jill friends to get a big red ball and she wanted every guest to leave with a fish. She is very decisive.
Luckily, she was cool with our Wonder Pets theme. We reserved a traveling petting zoo complete with pony rides and personalized carriage. Her daddy worked hard to finish her invitations including a picture of her on a pony by the March 1st deadline. And then life happened. Baby G fell ill and we lost at least a week of our lives. I knew I was off my game when the text messages asking for the invitations starting to arrive. Damn, damn, damn….I forgot to mail the invitations. Then the Princess decides she wants to celebrate all week. She wanted something special with her dance class friends on Wednesday. Cupcakes with her class on Friday and of course the main event on Saturday. So, three parties in one week. Then there was the rain forecast. Sixty percent showers does not set well with an outside petting zoo party.
“God please don’t let it rain on my birthday, Amen.” That was her prayer every night for a week. Plan B consisted of the garage, a tent and complete chaos in the house. Everything seemed to be in order and then I call the petting zoo on Saturday morning to make sure they have directions. During that call I am informed that the owner is ill and they will not be able to do the party. WHAT, it’s 9 a.m., the party is at 1 p.m. and we have at least 25 toddlers that plan to attend and they are expecting animals. Where is my St. John Wort cause it’s clearly too early to drink. Thank God for the world wide web, I must have called a dozen petting zoos and pony people looking for some animals on short notice.
Finally, a woman in New Bern agreed to bring not one, but two ponies. I’ll take it.
I decided to break the news to baby girl when she woke up and she was a little disappointed because she “wanted lots of animals.” But as we suspected she totally forgot about the lack of a duck pond when she got to ride Maxine. In fact, my new challenge became getting her off the horse long enough to let some of her guests ride. I am so glad they had two.
But somewhere in the midst of running around like a Hebrew slave trying to make sure everyone was enjoying themselves, I thought about quitting. No more, no more big birthdays for a while, no more handmade invitations, no more conference calls and caterers and popcorn machines. Don’t judge me, I know she’s three.
That night after all the camaraderie and we’re tucking in the Princess she says the following prayer: “Thank you God for my birthday and for not letting it rain. Thank you for all my friends and all my presents and for my mommy and daddy. Amen.”
And it’s at that moment that I start planning next year’s extravaganza. Happy Birthday Princess, you are worthy.