Friday, October 26, 2012

Understated Celebrations

Today was Eli's 6th birthday.

We are into lame understated birthday celebrations...mostly.  We make a big deal over the 13th...and 16th birthday (sometimes)...and well...I don't know what else.  We are just mostly into the understated kind.  

Our recent M.O. has been to offer our kids a modest "birthday budget" and allow them to decide how to spend it.  It's enough to have a small party -- if they desire -- along with a small present if they spend it wisely.  Mostly, they decide to skip the party and have a big present.

A few months ago, Eli informed me (as if I didn't know) that "friends were actually allowed to come to your birthday party."  So, we got to planning a skateboard party -- complete with 10 neighborhood friends.

But today wasn't party day.  It was his actual birthday.

Eli watching his adoption video

I'm not into celebrating twice.  Don't judge.  We have 5 children.  Multiple celebrations (you know, the "friend party" and the "family party" and the "birthday dinner" at a favorite restaurant)  get to be a little much.  If you choose to have a party in our home, we celebrate on the party day.  If not, I'm happy to cook your favorite dinner and we invite family only over to join us.  Sweet and simple.

But truthfully, who doesn't want their ACTUAL birthday to feel special too?  And, what mom can resist?  With Eli, it doesn't take much to make him happy.

He was up early, super excited because he was turning 6.  He used the word "birthday boy" to describe himself 999 times.  It was also Mother Goose Day - so we sent him to school, dressed as the spider who frightened Miss Muffet away -- with a pan of brownies and birthday napkins to share with his friends.

When he came home, mom needed to run errands, so it was off for a birthday Happy Meal (to entertain while in the Kinkos, the Bank and the Albertsons) and then a quick stop at Target where he got to use MiMi's birthday money to purchase 1 toy.  We came home a little later with the very first ever BUZZ LIGHTYEAR toy to ever make it's way in to the RamFam home.

Eli, "I really know a lot of facts about Buzz Lightyear".  Me, "Like what"?  Eli, "Well, he was in a movie called TOY STORY 3 and he has a laser that really works!"  Later he said, "Maybe he was in ALL the Toy Story movies"?  Maybe.

Buzz entertained wonderfully while mom had to work, after all, it wasn't moms birthday.

Around 6:30, I quickly threw together a "Birthday Dinner" of chicken and asparagus -- which we ate on paper plates with Buzz Light Year as our "centerpiece".  Eli's siblings took one look at the table, the paper plates...and began to tell me how lame it was.  To which I IMMEDIATELY put them to work.  Don't mess with mom! 

Eli however was in birthday boy heaven.  Loving the momentary center of attention, he was extra affectionate.  Kissing my hand, he said, "mommy I could just hug you all day".  Melt.  My.  Heart.

We cooked some cupcakes -- given to us in our BOO bag by the neighbors -- and sang a birthday song.

To complete our lame celebration, after dinner -- we headed to Walmart to purchase some supplies for all the other kids who are attending Corem Deo this weekend.  There, he was delighted to discover he would be allowed to pick out another toy with his money from Granga.  After declaring he really liked money, he picked a Jedi sword and a hot wheels car.

As we leave he asks, "Is it still my birthday"?  "Sure", I say.  "It's your birthday until bedtime".  Eli, "Then can I stay up late"?  Me, "Of course.  Today is special".

He smiled...skipped to the car even.  Lame?  Special?  It's all the eye of the beholder.

(And for those of you who may be worried, he still gets his Skateboard party on Sunday!)

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