My youngest son turned 4 on the 5th of January. We had a cake and did presents and went to his favorite restaurant. You know, the usual family celebration. He was thrilled. We didnt have a ‘birthday party’ where he and all his little friends got together for some wild kid fun.
Actually, apart from a few family members, Charlie has never had a birthday party. His older brother, Zacharie, on the other hand, has been hamming it up with his pals since he turned 3. Even Z’s first and 2nd birthdays were big backyard events with lots of family.
But Charlie’s been getting the shaft.
Is it because he’s the youngest? Do we have birthday party fatigue? Likely it’s the time of year. A January 5th birthday means invites have to go out in mid-December before school gets out and we’re well into the holidays without worrying about birthdays. So we’ve let it slide.
To be honest, Charlie didn’t know the difference. He never complained that he didn’t have a birthday party. He just liked going to his brother’s or to his friend’s. But we knew the difference. Parental guilt got the better of us and we bit the bullet and pulled off a half-birthday party for Charlie this weekend.
I know. Just a year ago I was holding up half birthday parties as a proof ours might be the worst parenting generation of all time as we over-indulged our kids with too many frivolous celebrations.
Then I had sober second thought and saw how this ‘half birthday parties thing’ can actually make sense in some situations.
So, as we started the countdown to Zacharie turning 7, we decided to do a double party at a bowling alley. A 7th birthday party for Z, and a 4 1/2 birthday party for Charlie at the same place at the same time. They each invited a handful of friends, got a couple of lanes, blew out the candles together, took turns opening presents, and everyone had a blast.
I fully came clean in the invite to the parents, not wanting to get the same stink eye from them that I was so eager to give to others last summer. I explained Charlie had never had a party, and it was because we were lazy and kept putting it off. Everyone understood, and the kids had fun.
I just wonder how everyone will feel when, in 6 months, they get another invite to Charlie’s real birthday party and are asked to go present shopping again.