In January I started planning a big party for Hamish. Knowing that he would turn 4 and remember this birthday I wanted to plan a fun day with lots of spoils and all his friends.
After all…you only turn 4 once.
Then March happened and we entered into quarantine as Covid turn the world upside down.
Months of financial strain on so many, assisting family, a huge move and change in lifestyle has a way to help you reflect on much.
And I started to rethink how we would celebrate Hamish’s birthday.
Now, we could have whipped him up a cute quarantine birthday or organised a drive through party.
We could have zoom parties with his friends or even taken him out, as we are now on level 1 …
Indecisively I asked him how he wanted to spend his birthday.
A humble request
He asked for balloons and a cake!
That was it.
I was taken a back. The simpleness of balloons and a cake would be enough to make his little heart happy.
A plan in action
So, we decided that if all he wanted was the simpleness of balloons and cake then that is exactly what he would have.
For the first time in the history of Hamish’s gifts, Brent was tasked with choosing a gift and getting a cake to bring home.
I would take care of balloons and a day of spoils.
An evening before
The night before. I blew up a packet of balloons. We don’t have balloons in our home often because of their environmental impact so this was a huge sacrifice in integrity for me… but it would make him happy and the only thing he wanted, so I closed my eyes and blew up those balloons.
I’ve since discovered that you can buy eco-friendly balloons at Cape Town balloon & event
Hamish woke early to a bed full of balloons.
The happiness was immediate and he came rushing to our room for a balloon fight.
We sang happy birthday and he started to recieve the multitude of wishes you all sent to him.
My mommy heart was so moved at the beautiful and thoughtful messages from so many of you who took the time to show him some love on his birthday.
He was so excited he wanted to make a thank you everyone video, which we posted to Instagram.
A day of fun
The day past in a series of fun games and a friend over for a playdate.
The two kids played so nicely and ran about the garden.
After his friend left, he reluctantly had a nap, but by then he had depleted his energy completely and needed to recharge those birthday batteries.
Throughout the morning Brent had called me a few times about the gift and cake.
He settled on a chocolate cake and I got a frantic call to say that the cake had been squished when Brent had to break suddenly for a car.
I told him not to worry, I would try fix it when he got home.
Thinking the worst I was getting ready to re-ice the entire cake.
Dinosaurs to the rescue
When Brent got home, I was relatively relieved to see that the cake was not totally messed up. Infact it was just the corner.
I quickly ran to the toy box and grabbed a few dinosaurs.
With a little creativity I placed them so that it looked like the dinosaurs had gotten to the cake first and taken a few bites.
(First tip they teach you in the mom manual …when in doubt add dinosaurs.)
The birthday fairy
In our home we have fairies for everything…and I do mean everything.
From tooth fairies to bedtime fairies, there is always a new fairy around.
I had told Hamish that the birthday fairies were dropping a gift off at Brent’s work and that he would get it when Brent got home.
We placed the box on the floor and after his bath, He dived straight in to reveal a monster ramp and car.
He was so excited.
And then we revealed the cake he had waited for.
His face was magical as he scolded the dinosaurs for eating cake before him.
The day was nothing like I had originally planned.
There was no big party or hoards of children.
There was no big budget or bright decorations.
There wasn’t a mountain of gifts. ..
There was one increadibly happy little boy who was showered in love and who spent his birthday exactly as he had asked to.
What a perfect birthday !
So many times we plan a child’s party for ourselves, for the gram or to meet up to the expectations of the neighbours, our friends and the school WhatsApp group.
What if instead of large lavish parties we ask our children how they want to spend the day.
What if we make the day completely and utterly about them and the things that make them happy?
This may not look the same as what we had envisioned and that is ok!
After all you only get your birthday once every year …surely it should be the happiest day of your year.