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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Happy Birthday My Love

Happy Birthday Miss Giavanna,

Today is her eighth birthday and Im so excited as I watch her mature. I find that my children are much more interesting and engaging now that we can discuss real life without talk of Barney or Little Einsteins.
Last year her party consisted of twenty girls at Build-a-Bear workshop followed by lunch at Johnny Rockets. While the girls had a great time, it seemed extremely costly for an event at an un-sophisticated mall and a very mediocre restaurant- and Im being kind. I love birthdays but I don't like hanging out in malls and paying over four hundred dollars for something that isn't that impressive. This year Im taking Giavanna and her friend to see Mamma Mia on Broadway. Her interest in dance and saxophone are progressing along nicely. Im happy to nurture these interests and happy that she shares my love of music. I had to present my idea in a manner that would be positive to her. It is time, in my opinion to take on a new approach with the birthday celebrations. I told her the following:
"Giavanna, since you are maturing into an intelligent and beautiful young girl, it's time that we eliminate the juvenile parties and do something more appropriate for an older child. Big parties are for little kids. I feel that you are now old enough to go into the city once a year and select a play that you are interested in. How do you feel about that." She loved the idea and fell for my presentation. Amen
I did the same thing as Christopher approached eight. I told him- No more big parties- you are too old. Im happy to have a sleepover with two of your friends and we can do something of your choice and that's the deal. He was fine with it.

So my days of big party planning at My Gym, Build-a-Bear, Bounce-U,ECC, and the Movie theater are a thing of the past. Thankfully. These parties are over-priced and while they are fun for the children, I truly don't believe that they will make a lasting impression. I would much rather spend money taking my family into New York City and indulging in a nice restaurant and a broadway show. My parents often took us into the city when my brothers and I were growing up. I remember every single play- every show tune that I heard and the wonderful drive on the Merritt Parkway with the classical music blaring the entire trip. The time spent with my parents as well as the fun I had in the backseat with my brothers are forever imprinted in my mind.

I think parents get extremely competitive in regard the the birthday party planning. Children feed into this and as one girl has a petting zoo at her party, the next one insists that she have a circus act in her backyard. Her cake can't be homemade- it has to be from a gourmet bakery. Oh and I almost forgot about the goodie bags, enough with the goodie bags. They are typically filled with the cheapest of candy and plastic toys. It's an added cost that is incredibly wasteful. I usually find them left in my car two weeks after a party and take great delight in disposing of them.

Im happy that I have discussed the way that parties will be taken care of going forward-now that my children are "mature". It gives them a sense of adulthood and provides them with culture as well as beautiful, artful memories. It works for us and I don't have to worry about cleaning up after the circus after they dismantle the big tent.

1 comment:

kiraly said...

We did the same with our kids! Like you said the competitiveness of the parties, to me, seemed over the top and was too much. It was no longer about celebrating the child but which family could one up the last. I told them they could have "friend" parties at 10, 13 and 16 if they chose. Otherwise, it's family party and a special outing with us. They didn't even miss the parties!