We had Seth's 5 year old birthday party here on Friday night. How is it that I can vividly remember his birth - the pain, the room, the walking around the halls, the rush to the bed for the quick delivery, his little blue face as the midwife tried to get him to breathe for the first minute of his life - and, yet, the birthday still sneaks up on me?
I love birthdays. I love celebrating each of my children's births. But, we only give them a big birthday party (friends included) at ages 1, 5, 10, (someday) 13, and 16. This is because we are lacking in rich relatives with more time on their hands than they know what to do with. We love our family and would like for them not to have to mortgage their homes in order to attend birthday parties for all 7 of our children plus their 6 cousins every year. Even with this schedule, we average at least one birthday party annually.
Oh, why are we stopping at 16? Because after that, they have to throw their own party!
Michael's 5th birthday party was planned for 4 years. As soon as his first party was over the wheels began to turn. It was in the farm's pumpkin patch area, with wagon rides, hot dogs, hamburgs, the works.
Seth is child number 5. I thought about his for about...2 weeks. I bought the stuff the day before. I ordered pizza when the guests arrived.
Low maintenance. Huge fun. Really. The boys had a blast playing in the snow and just hanging out. With each of my girls, I planned party games, etc. Boys are not into that. Let them make their own fun. This was the first birthday party we didn't have a wagon ride or a horseback ride. It was just too cold. You know what? They lived. They still had fun!
I love birthday parties. I love birthday parties that don't stress me out. However, I won't say that Friday was a completely stress-free night. But, I didn't feel the stress until all the boys went home.
What caused the stress? The realization about an hour later that in two years, we have a child turning 5, one turning 13, and one turning 10 - in three months time!