Posts Tagged ‘birthday traditions’

Last night as my husband blew up the birthday balloons, I pulled out the gifts to wrap for my oldest daughter. Groan. The children had beat me to the wrapping paper, and there were only a few shreds left. There was a time when this situation would have left my sick with stress…

My mother used to make us beautiful birthday cakes in the shapes of animals. I think that I got it into my head that being a good mom meant that everything had to be just perfect for a birthday.

I am someone who wings everything, so the combination of perfectionism and me is just a disaster waiting to happen. My children’s first few birthdays were pretty miserable. I was worried about the presents not being good enough and about the cake not being pretty enough and about there not being enough people at the party.

One year I put too much cake batter in the pans, and the batter overflowed and burned in the bottom of the oven. It was a laugh or cry moment as I sat looking at the ugliest cake imaginable with the acrid smoke burning my eyes.

I realized then the birthday wasn’t ruined because the cake was. The birthday was never about the cake—it was about celebrating my daughter.

IMG_1914[1]Soon after that, I read a magazine article that talked about the importance of traditions that made the birthday child feel special. We began to implement some traditions on the next birthday—all of them to let the birthday child know that they are loved.

One fun tradition that we have is the Fruit Face. I arrange fruit in a bowl in the shape of a face and place it in front of the birthday child at breakfast. These aren’t works of art; they’re just silly and fun, and they make everyone laugh. It’s just one of the little ways that I say, “I love you.”

As I reflected on my daughter’s fourteenth birthday and the presents wrapped in flyers, I realized that it wasn’t at all stressful like birthdays used to be. I have learned that birthdays aren’t about having everything perfect; they’re about showing love—and that’s something we have an abundance of.

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