Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Birthday Party Dilemma

When my son was born, my husband and I swore we would never be one of those parents who threw lavish birthday parties for our son. Lo and behold we're two months from celebrating his third birthday and I'm in the process of calling around for suitable venues, entertainment options (will a clown be too scary?), and deliberating on menu options (Are peanuts really off-limits?). Involuntarily, I feel like I've been sucked into some sort of vortex of a "toddler rite of passage." While weighing the decision of whether or not to host a birthday party for my soon-to-be three year old, which will include other two and three year olds (YIKES), there's far more reasons to have a blow-out party.

First, in my son's short three years on earth, he's been through quite a bit. He experienced a severe arm injury at birth, had corrective arm surgery when he was 10 months, and was diagnosed with a significant speech delay at 18 months. He currently receives speech, occupational, and physical therapy. He's been a trooper through it all.

Second, he's been a rock star at potty training. That alone deserves a party.

Third, he's a great kid with a lot of friends and friends with parents whom I really enjoy (Not to mention we're constantly being invited to birthday parties. Reciprocity may be in order here).

Fourth, my son loves a great party. He loves to dance, sing, and run around. He enjoys socializing and playing games. It's going to be joyful just watching him with his friends.

Finally, I actually enjoy event planning. I'm having a blast checking out birthday party websites to get ideas for themes (Trucks, Trucks and more Trucks). I've been a savvy negotiator when it comes to the venue space. I've even decided, in lieu of gifts, we're going to have a box for "Toys for Tots." That will be optional of course.

I'm at peace with my decision and I'm actually looking forward to the birthday bash. I've resolved my dilemma and I'm ready "to send in the clowns"(just kidding). We're flying the Wiggles in from London (again, I'm kidding).

I read a great remark, which I'll paraphrase here: Let the child be celebrated, not the party. This is what my husband and I plan to do. Hence, our dilemma is solved.



Jacqui said...

Actually, there is never a party dilemma when it comes to the precious ones that we love.

As the parent of 3 wonderful children we have tried to give them things that they will remember, and always within reason. Time passes by ever so quickly, and you will cherish those special moments that your children will remember forever.

And I couldn't agree more...let the children be celebrated, not the party.

Anonymous said...

I say, do whatever works for you. A 3 year old is not going to remember his birthday party. I didnt. and if my mother decided not to have one (which I think she did) Im not bent out of shape over it. take a picture of him on his day blowing out his birthday candles with your immediate family and call it a day. wait until his gets it. the preteen years are when the real birthday partying kicks in.