It was Number 7’s birthday on Friday. She turned seven years old.
Number 7 has the latest birthday of all the kids, so she is always waiting and waiting and waiting AND WAITING for her big day to come.
Everyone who knows me knows I have an issue with over-the-top birthday celebrations for kids for every single birthday.
I DO believe in making sure your kids feel super special on their birthday.
I DO NOT believe in spending hundreds and thousands of dollars and throwing elaborate birthday parties every year or inviting kids who aren’t even really your friends to your party.
And I detest goody bags.
BUT, like I said, I 100% believe in celebrating my kids’ birthdays and making sure they have a day that is about them. At least part of the day, anyway.
I am also just getting to a place in my life where I feel like I have my feet under me.
I am more organized than I’ve ever been, I’m in a better place financially than I’ve been in a while, all the kids are in school, and my head is not spinning anywhere near the speed is was a couple years ago.
I’ve been thinking about Number 7’s birthday for a while. She wasn’t going to have a party.
Last year I let her skip school on her birthday and we spent the day together. She started off by sleeping in and then doing her favorite learn-to-draw videos.
Then we got ice cream,
went to the movies,
came home, opened a couple presents, and had cake as a family.
It was a great birthday.
This year Number 7 lucked out because the kids had the day off from school.
Since it was a weekday and all the kids were going to be home, it would be more of a challenge to do something one-on-one with her. So that wasn’t really an option this year.
I knew she’d be asking all day long when she’d be able to open her gifts, so instead of waiting until later in the day, we decided to give her her gifts first thing in the morning.
Last year a friend of mine posted a picture of her dining room all decorated early in the morning for her daughter’s birthday, so she’d wake up and come down to all the decorations.
I thought is was a pretty cool idea.
It was not something I could even consider doing for any of my kids a year ago because my dining room table was always full of laundry or whatever, and the dining room in general was kind of a disaster. So decorating it, even very simply, would require a fairly major clean up, and I just didn’t have the energy — or willingness — to do that a year ago.
So this is where being more organized and disciplined snowballs into other areas of your life. In a very good way.
You are easily able to do things that you couldn’t when the house resembled a war zone.
But we have been eating at the dining room table for about eleven months now. I have been committed to keeping this area free of clutter. So this year, doing something a little extra for Number 7’s birthday was easy!
I bought two ninety-seven cent bags of balloons and a simple ninety-seven cent “Happy Birthday” garland from Walmart. I blew up the balloons early in the morning and tied them to the chandelier in the dining room, hung the garland on the mantel, and had the wrapped presents on the dining room table.
When Number 7 walked downstairs she was totally surprised and excited.
By a $2.91 investment in cheapo decorations.
Number 6 was a little annoyed.
“HEY! YOU DIDN’T DO THIS FOR OUR BIRTHDAY!!!” he said to me, feeling a little neglected.
I told him we’d do the same thing for his next birthday.
But his reaction showed me that this very small investment of time and money really made the kids happy and feel special. So this will probably become a new tradition for everyone’s birthdays.
Number 7 was super excited.
She opened her presents at 7:30 a.m.
We got her a hoverboard, which is exactly what she wanted. She’s been pleading for one ever since she used one a couple months ago at a friend’s house.
Plus she only wanted “outside toys” because “inside toys are stupid.”
So she was super happy.
We don’t have a hoverboard-friendly driveway, and we don’t live on a quiet road where she can use it, but we are very close to the middle school, so after it had a chance to fully charge, we went down and she took it for a spin in the parking lot.
She was in hoverboard heaven.
Later that afternoon we went to swim practice.
Number 7 got to hand out cupcakes to her teammates and when we were leaving the pool, all of Number 3’s buddies sang Happy Birthday to her at the top of their lungs.
When a bunch of 13-year-old boys make a big deal out of your 7th birthday, it’s kind of a big deal.
Number 7 was feeling pretty special.
When we got home, we had some ice cream cake as a family, and Number 7’s birthday was officially complete.
We didn’t do anything crazy. It was simple, but it was special.
And as I lay down next to Number 7 in her bed and went through the usual bedtime routine with her, she looked at me with a big smile on her face and said to me,
“Mommy, this was the BEST DAY EVER.”
(And I can’t believe my baby is SEVEN!!!)