Yesterday we celebrated the 1st birthday of my youngest child, baby D, and it was a wonderful time with family and friends.
For those that know me, it is a well-known fact that I love party planning, pinteresting, and creating memorable events leaving no detail out. What most people maybe don’t realize is that it’s much more to me than just a party.
Birthdays are special, sacred, and should be cherished, whether you are young or old. With my own birthday around the corner, I joke about letting it go unnoticed, not really wanting to be another year older – but the truth is, I’m grateful and thankful I have gotten another year in my book of life, and hope for more! This is how I feel about the birthdays of my children, if not even more strongly. I know everyone finds their own way to celebrate birthdays and even with another successful 1st birthday party under my belt, I feel compelled to write about the real meaning of a 1st birthday – of course this is all my own opinion, so take it for what it’s worth!
The first year – is like no other. This first birthday is not only a celebration for the child turning 1, but it’s a celebration for the parents and others who made it through a whole year charged with the survival, growth and happiness of the child. The birthday boy/girl has the leading role, but the supporting roles need acknowledgement too – Oscar Style.
I throw a big party for my kids on their first birthday, but I’m celebrating many things! I’m celebrating for myself the fact that I survived bringing this baby into the world & that I managed to take care of the child, despite being in a zombie like state for the first 3-6 months.
I celebrate the fact that I didn’t suffocate my husband in his sleep while he snored through my night nursing, or that I still managed to keep two other kids clothed, fed - you know alive for the course of the year. Ok enough patting myself on the back (said husband did help too).
The party celebrates all the sacrifices our family made while adjusting to a new family member. There were times in which we did a little less cleaning, less healthy eating, had “hangry” fights, had sleep deprived fights, and literally thought “we aren’t going to make it”.
We also celebrate the fact that our older kids embraced a new sibling, helped when they could, loved each other most of the time, and did their best to understand their parents were not actually crazy – just exhausted human beings trying to keep everyone happy and healthy.
The 1-year milestone is amazing. You have watched a tiny little helpless infant grow into a small mini person, and it’s been your role and responsibility to make this happen. To foster the growth of a child is unlike no other feeling in the world. It’s a roller coaster with constant questioning of, “am I doing it right?”, “am I doing enough?”, “can he/she eat this?”, “is this a normal color of poop?”, and on and on.
They roll over, it’s amazing, they sit up, it’s amazing, they eat food it’s amazing, they sleep through the night IT’S A MIRACLE, they crawl, walk, say mama, say dada, laugh, and it’s all AMAZING. There is so much amazingness along with exhaustion and stress – it’s a combined effect that can’t truly be explained or described. The whole first year is so emotionally charged that for me I can’t help but to throw a big party when it seems to come full circle. Of course there’s more growing to be done, more amazingness to be seen, and the exhaustion never really goes away.
The final point to the first birthday milestone is that all the ups and downs in the first year and adjustments to life with a new baby are totally worth it! I’m going to get a little emotional here, but when you’ve had a child who didn’t get to this milestone it means that much more to see your other children make it.
From Ava, to Vincent, and now Decklan, every time they’ve done something wonderful I have basked in it, and I have also thought, “I wish I could have seen Kendrick do this”, “I wish I could have seen him grow”. This makes seeing the children I have in my life learn and grow, and all their special moments mean so much more. I would like to share this feeling, because it shouldn’t take loss of a child to truly know and appreciate the wonderfulness of getting to watch your children grow, and getting to see a little baby develop into a little person. So I throw a big party and I love putting my heart and soul into a great event, but the best part for me always is watching my child eat their birthday cake, and have everyone around them loving them and celebrating their life.
Life is precious, life is beautiful, and most importantly life is never guaranteed. So if you are a lucky parent celebrating the first birthday milestone - celebrate it to its fullest. It doesn't have to be a big party, but make it so special in your heart and for your little ones, & be it so for every birthday you get after that!
I dedicate this post to my three little bears and my sweet boy up above. My true treasures. <3