When Viv turned 2, Sonya cried. It’s hard to be 5-almost-6 and watch the stupid baby have a huge celebration and lots of presents that aren’t about you. Because I’m a softie, and because I hate crying children, I briefly considered buying every non-birthday kid something small for birthdays, just to ease up on the sobbing.
Then I decided that would just help me to raise kids who couldn’t stand other people’s happiness, who always had to be receiving presents no matter what, and who were materialistic jerks; basically, the last thing I wanted to do.
Except a few years later, I reconsidered. Not because of the tears, but because Viv’s birthday, for example, isn’t just about Viv. We celebrate Viv on her birthday because, duh. But we also celebrate our family, and the fact that our group changed and grew and blossomed with every new baby. We celebrate Viv’s birth with a party and cake and a pile of presents. We celebrate our family’s growth with, typically, a small collaborative toy (like LEGOs or Play Doh that all three girls will engage in together) and matchy matchy shirts that say “Best Sister Ever.”
They get the thrill of opening something, combined with the thrill of “we are family, I got all my sisters with me.”
I want all of my kids to feel excitement when one kid’s birthday is coming up. We are a family, we are a unit. We take long boring road trips together and sit and watch each other practice dance for hours. We jump on the trampoline together and cry when somebody has to stay home from school or somebody else won’t be home for an extra few hours. There are three times a year that are anniversaries of when the sister group fundamentally changed. We celebrate those anniversaries.
As with all things parenting, I’m sure that this is both 100% wrong and 100% right. I don’t particularly care. We’ve got one birthday in December, one in January, and one in February, and as we say each year at the approach of winter: “birthday season is coming!!!!!!”
This might mean I will never retire, or, by “never,” I mean “at a typical age.” Eh. Birthday season is coming!