Sunday, 11 January 2015
Happy Half Birthday
Birthdays are the ONE day of the year that belongs entirely to YOU.
Of course, everyone celebrates this day differently but no matter how you do, it's a Special Day.
When your young, being the Birthday Boy or Girl is such a fun day. Your friends wish you happy birthday, cupcakes (no nuts of course) are brought into school and everyone sings HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!
EVERYONE from class is invited to your party. Some parents 'dump'n'run' while others stay for a wine/coffee/chat or if you're new, it's simply another opportunity, especially for those parents who work to meet the others.
As you get older, and choose your friends, the invitation list slowly changes (reduces hopefully), and parties take on a different feel. Now I can only talk about girls parties here as I can only repeat what friends-wth-sons-say.
Some parents choose to outsource every aspect of the party - venues, entertainers, food, cake, gift bags (what's with those???????????) while others enjoy Hosting At Home and doing everything themselves, or with help from immediate family.
We've been both.
MissM's first birthday party was a HUGE celebration, at home. We cooked and baked and decorated and hosted a very lovely party for 40 people (including kids).
She had two parties for her second birthday. One mid-week with playgroup friends and their mums. We had a music-lady come and entertain them, who sadly wasn't as good as she was when I saw her at another party. Still, the kids were occupied, the mums had fun.
The second party was for family and friends-with-older-kids and we catered and baked and had a ball.
Since then, MissM's not had many parties at all (I know. Poor kid). You see, being born during the northern hemispher's long summer school holidays isn't much fun, especially as an expat kid. There's seldom anyone around, including you! She's most definitely had her birthday celebrated, but more often than not it's just the 3 of us doing something extra special.
For her 4th birthday, we just happened to be in Paris with friends who were visiting from Sydney and performing there. We were also on our to Yokohama for our look-see (the thing you do before committing to a move). Her 4th birthday was spent at EuroDisney! How cool is that??????????
Her 5th birthday was spend, just the 3 of us at ZED, Tokyo's Cirque de Soleil. We went to her favourite restaurant for dinner.
Her 6th birthday was in Sydney - we had got married earlier in the year, and waited til our summer visit to Sydney for a party, which just happened to fall on her birthday. We organised for a kids birthday table to be set up at the end of the venue, and decorated it with balloons and streamers. We invited the kids who were at her 2nd birthday party (and to be fair, they didn't really know each other anymore) and her cousins joined in. It wasn't the best party - but at least she had kids'n'cake.
When we got back to Japan, she very politely asked if she could have a party with her friends - the kids she's at school with. "After all mummy, I sing happy birthday to them'. She didn't want presents, just the song.
So, I created a HALF BIRTHDAY PARTY for her.
It's in January, and held as close to the date as needed to be the real deal.
Her 61/2 party was awesome! There was a clown, and magic. And friends! Lots of friends her own age! And mums'n'dads hung around for a glass or two of champagne, and food. Lots of food.
She beamed when they started to sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU and G appeared with a cake with sparklers and candles.
Everyone asked about presents, and when I explained MissM's desire to simply have a party with a cake, and have everyone sing to her, they all insisted on gifts too. There was an electronic puppy she had asked for (as we can't have a real dog), I thought this might be a great gift everyone could contribute too - which they did. One dear friend offered to organise it. MissM loves that dog to this day ...... after all it wasn't about the gifts.
Today is her 10 1/2 birthday party.
She is over the moon.
She has invited 12 friends and everyone is coming.
My motivation in chatting with you about this before the party is because she came up to me and hugged me and said 'thank you for making a 1/2 birthday party for me. It means I get to do what everyone else does with their friends every year on their actual birthday for a few years while we live here. I can't have a party on my actual birthday cos everyone's away, and I might not be here next year ..... will I?"
All I said was 'who knows where we'll be next birthday, let's just enjoy today'
And we will.
It's a POP STAR GIRLS ONLY party ... and we've outsourced everything.