Party Time

February and March are full of celebrations for us. Our anniversary is one of them, but it’s also a busy time for birthdays — Craig’s, my nephew Shawn’s, my brother’s, Craig’s sister’s, and on and on. Spring begins and March comes to an end with the biggest celebration of them all this year: Wesley’s first birthday. That my son will be one year old in just a few short weeks is excitingly shocking to me. It is a wonderful thing to celebrate, but it is also bittersweet. How can it be that a whole year has passed since birthing my son?

I wasn’t even planning on a party. I wanted a special day the three of us together, a trip to the zoo perhaps, a quiet cake celebration in the evening, a birthday ring on the table to begin a new tradition. But everyone loves Wesley so and wants to celebrate him. Three or four different gatherings with family and friends over the course of a short weekend might have been more overwhelming in the end than a simple party where everyone can gather together at once. And so the invitations have been sent out, the party supplies have been purchased. The grandmothers are being put to work in the food department, and the Cuban pastries will be ordered (wouldn’t be a proper Cuban party without them). Just a fun gathering at the playground, no theme. Just the brilliant colors of the green grass and the blue sky, the orange warmth of the sun. We’re hoping for good weather, anyway.

I’m a bit anxious about the preparations at the moment. I wonder too if it would not have been best to have the party in the early afternoon (turns out people’s lives are wonderfully full on Saturday mornings. There are sporting events to play, classes to attend, naps to be taken). Shawn’s birthday party took place after 3 pm, and it could not have been more lovely.The whole family got in on the action. Here are my dad, my niece’s husband James and the birthday boy, my mom, two of my brothers, my nephew Matthew, and Craig and Wes:

The guys really got a kick out of their dodgeball game (how macho!) while the rest of us ate, talked and watched the little ones crawl and walk around the grass and playground. I’m hoping for the same good spirit come Wesley’s time. And hopefully candle/cake time won’t be too horrifying for him. I’m not sure he knew what to make of Shawn’s:

And he completely freaked out at Aunt Lauren’s birthday dinner last Sunday when the singing began and he took a good look at the candles on the cake. Perhaps one will be more manageable. One candle, one celebration, one whole year coming to an end — and another one right around the corner ready to be lived.

P.S. I’ve joined in on the formspring action, in case you have any pressing questions for me you’re just dying to have answered!


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