I didn’t fully understand the idea behind birthdays until I had children of my own.
Prior to that, when I became a certain age, the event didn’t strike me as a necessary thing to have happen. We give someone a gift because they managed to survive another year on this mortal coil? Could there be any other societal event that is more eye-roll inducing? Tolkien was right, it should be the other way around. The Birthday Boy/Girl should give the attendees of said party gifts.
Other things we shouldn’t do is set a precedent for having a party for a child every. fucking. birthday.
My wife and I learned that early on. Not only was it a pain in the ass wrangling people (typically family members, and once the kids became school aged, classmates) but it also proved to be fucking expensive. Doubly so once we had more than one baby.
While it can be a daunting thing planning a party for someone you created (let alone having to sit through it and suffer any temper tantrums that may come…) that is lacking in the social skills that you yourself have, it should be kept in mind that a birthday party, from the parenting point of view, isn’t solely about the child being celebrated: it’s about celebrating their growth.
My youngest turned 7 at the end of June. While I try to not delve too hard into the “favorite child” stigma of being a parent, our last child truly is one of a kind.
Happy, fiercely independent (almost to a fault), loving and loves her family (regardless of the shit she may be talking about her brother and sister at the time) and unbelievably intelligent (It’s fair to assume I’m being biased: you can go fuck a goat. She taught herself to read by the time she was 4 and currently reads at a 5th grade level. Additionally, she’s been teaching herself multiplication recently. How’s that for bias?)…. All of that wrapped up in a pretty package.
When I look at her, I don’t see the little worm that I’d get up before the ass crack of dawn to feed only to have the both of us pass the fuck out on the couch. I see the young lady that she is and am astounded at the young woman she could turn out to be.