I had this whole post in my mind about how crazy hectic this summer has been and how I was already planning for the great things to come NEXT summer since this one was exhausting. Then, I started thinking about WHAT I was planning and decided to just focus on the happy. So instead of writing about just another manic summer, I'm going to blog about birthdays.
My birthday is in the summer. So is my kid's. He turned eight in July and had been talking about this year's party since the July he turned seven. I'm not exaggerating. It's been a year of what he'll do for his eighth birthday and the cake and who's invited and who's uninvited (which changed daily) and backyard party vs. other kind of party and so on. By the first week of this July, there was so much talk about it, my husband and I had to put a moratorium on birthday talk. One mention a day for five minutes was all that was allowed. In case you were wondering (which, how can you not be, right?), we had a video game truck come to our house. We served pizza and Oreo ice cream cake. He had a great time, so of course he's already started planning next year's party. The thing I realized, though, is that I totally get where he's coming from with all this birthday stuff, even if my husband doesn't.
See, I'm a summer birthday, too. Mine is in August. Unlike him, I spent every summer away from home and with my grandparents. We stayed in a bungalow colony. I had summer friends and school friends. My grandpa planned a birthday party for all the kids at the colony, complete with games and prizes. My parents came up for the weekend and brought cake and pizza. My party was the highlight of everyone's summer. There was no anxiety with who to invite or if they would come. If someone forgot, you knocked on their screen door. There was nowhere else to go. My party was the happening thing. And yet while I look at that really fondly now, as a kid I missed having a party back in my hometown with those friends. I missed celebrating in school (back then, schools were hardcore and didn't let you bring cupcakes unless your birthday actually fell during the school months). When I was 15, I stopped going to the colony, and started having parties at home. I looked forward to that party all year. Seriously. All. Year. It was my favorite part of summer.
As an adult, I'm the same way. Birthdays were always such a big deal in my family. This year was kind of a crappy birthday because I had a deadline and spent all day working. There was a new place I wanted to try for dinner and was in such a bad mood I almost didn't go. But then there was my kid's sad face about not celebrating my birthday and my husband's insistence I get out of the house...and we went. And I'm so glad I did, and it reminded me that I can't let summer just be summer. Even with work and deadlines, the birthday has to be important. So...I started planning next year's already. I'm thinking Disneyworld. I plan on wearing a crown. I'm such a Leo. My kid is very excited. I think we're driving my husband crazy because we've taking turns waxing poetic about our plans for our birthdays next year (he's thinking a waterpark).
So, yeah, I get my eight-year-old, the angst that comes with celebrating and hoping things work out and not wanting to be disappointed. We all need things to look forward to. And sometimes we need to look forward to them every day. Especially when the summer is less than you thought it would be and you almost forgot what was important.