My girls always get up first in the morning. When they start fighting too much to ignore, then I get up.
Today I came out of my bedroom and my three year old grins up at me and says, “Happy Birthday, Mommy!” My five year old grinned and said the same. My heart melted a little bit.
And then when my seven year old got up a little bit later, he remembered too, my heart melted even more.
I felt so loved that they remembered it was my birthday.
I thought, that’s enough. My day is made. What a good-enough birthday. Birthdays as a mom of little munchkins can be a little disappointing if you’re not careful with expectations. So my expectations have been fairly low for more than a few years. Quiet and incremental acknowledgements are fine with me. So to have the kids remember my birthday unprompted was just icing on the cake.
We carried on with our day, but pretty soon, Ranger came out with a present for me wrapped in one of his blankets. He found some art he had made, wrote “for mom” on the side of it and added one of his hard earned dollar bills.
When I tried to tell him he didn’t need to give me money he said, “I just want you to have enough money to get what you want.” It was such a precious thing to say I couldn’t refuse his generous little heart.
The rest of the day, I mostly orchestrated the activities, because I wanted to have fun instead of sitting around waiting to be celebrated (turns out this strategy is much better, surprise surprise).
Before lunch, the kids and I took a long hike and collected a bouquet of flowers (in photos). I was so thankful the trails had dried out and it was a glorious blue day.
After lunch we played in the sunshine and then, when Israel was ready, dashed off for our second adventure: the zoo! We used some zoo passes we’d been given for my daughters’ birthdays (in september, yes I know, but life is busy. Thank you, you know who you are!) and made the day that much more fun for everyone. It made me happy to do something with all of us on a warm day.
On the way home, amidst the sound of skipped naps/rests, we declared it popcorn and movie night so all the mealtime and bedtime struggles could be masked by that hilarious edition of Peter Rabbit that came out sometime in the last year or two. (The one with Rey. ) That movie is just hilarious, even if I’m only halfway listening while making an easy eggs,etc dinner.
The kids’ portion of the day concluded with baths and then the celebratory pie I decided I wanted instead of cake. Because I get to choose.
And what’s easier than box-cake mix?
Freezer section pie. That’s what.
Meg declared the white stuff (cool whip) “yummier than sour cream.”
I’d have to agree :D
And now I am writing this on the floor in Meg and Ali’s room while waiting for them to settle down, because I have learned many great things from my mom, but I have one particularly clear memory of her writing in the dark on her laptop while sitting between the beds of two of my brothers waiting for them to go to sleep. And forcing them to be still and quiet, I’m sure.
I think my girls are asleep now.
I’ll give it a few more minutes to gel, before I sneak out to crochet a little and see what else I want to fit in.
But that was my day today.
It was a lovely one.
I really liked this option of focusing on doing things we all enjoy instead of trying to get some extra rest or reading or whatever thing I might like to do by myself or for myself.
It was much more fun to simply choose things I enjoy and fun things we had available to do together. And the kids liked it way more too, I’m sure. Sort of a family day instead of another me day.
Two things that worked well that I want to remember for future celebratory days:
- I wanted Israel to be free to do something with us too, so I checked a few days beforehand instead of assuming he’d know how I wanted to celebrate my birthday (hahahahah). Communicate. Who knew?
- We are reading Love Does for Kids by Bob Goff out loud to the kids most nights, and in one story Bob Goff talks about how instead of making his birthday all about him when his kids’ were little he started making it just a brilliantly fun (talking visits to toystores, it’s Bob Goff) for his kids. He compared it to how it makes God happy when we are happy, just like it makes parents happy when the kids are happy. I kind of experienced that today. It was so fun to just have fun together a little more specially.
- (PS – my seven year old says he loves this book. And I love that he loves it. It makes my heart happy.)
Enough for now!
Thanks for reading. How do you like to celebrate your birthdays? :)