The Birthday Post

I wish I had beautiful pictures of the party to show you. Sadly, there aren’t many. And I wish I could tell you that Wesley had an amazing time. But I cannot report that either. Sigh. The simplest way to put it is that the party was not what I had hoped for. I hope our friends and family had a good time. I think they had a good time. Even though the playground was too full and too hot, people gathered and flew kites and blew bubbles and ate yummy food. And I am thankful for that.

But there is a great part of me that wishes I had stuck to my first instinct of not having a party. That we had spent instead a quiet day taking our son to some fun place and had small groups of people over at different times. That we hadn’t scheduled the party for the exact span of time Wesley needed for napping. When that nap didn’t happen, it was all downhill from there.

It’s not even just that we were late to the park and that the decorations didn’t go up as planned or that the tablecloths kept flying off into the wind: all things that from the very first moment put me in a very bad mood. If you were there, I’m sure you noticed. No. The absolutely worst thing was seeing my little boy so upset on what should have been a very happy day.

I know he won’t remember the party. I know he won’t remember that when we finally got home, he was still inconsolable. That though he was exhausted it took two hours and curling up with him on the living room floor with a blanket, pillow and Finding Nemo for his little body to give in to sleep. That he slept poorly that night. That he napped even more poorly the next day. That he got sick. That on the second night his father had to spend the entire night sleeping next to his crib because he was up every half hour. But I remember. And it saddens me to think that I contributed, in any way, to this stressful time. I wish my focus would have been, instead, on taking care of him in great detail, which I feel I did not do.

In part, this is a lesson about myself. Some people are great at parties, whether going to them or hosting them. I know some great hostesses. But I am not one of these people. I want things too perfect without having a perfect hand myself. I am easily disappointed. I get upset when I feel I have not given any one person any real attention because so many things require tending to. And frankly, as I I have alluded to in the past, the past few months have been incredibly difficult on me because of my work load. The party may have been a bad idea from the start.

But that’s that. I don’t want to think negatively about it anymore – it’s out of me. I’m grateful that so many people took the time to celebrate Wesley, to shower him with lovely gifts and more importantly with their love. I may be sad that my son’s tiniest days have passed, but I know that my Wes is still a little boy. A year older, yes, but still so very much in need of our protection, for a long time to come.

P.S. We did have one short nice quiet moment later in the evening, just the three of us. Wes still wasn’t 100% so we didn’t break out the pretty birthday banner or dare put a hat on his head, but he did gift us with a beautiful smile by the warmth of his candle and birthday ring, complete with duck ornament in honor of his first word:

Thank you all for the birthday wishes! Your love means the world to us.

7 thoughts on “The Birthday Post

  1. I’m so sorry.. you know how crazy stressed I got about Jasper’s 1st birthday (hello mastitis) so I can completely relate. The good thing about birthdays is that they keep on coming, so there’s always a next year🙂 Glad you got your special moment in at night though!

  2. Happy Birthday Wes! I decided as I was planning Alyssa first birthday I would not do that again next year. As much fun as it is, I think next year smaller will be better for everyone. Wes looked soooo cute!

  3. I’m so sorry to hear that Wes’ birthday didn’t go as planned. We are in the same boat right now (tending towards a small private celebration, but feeling pressured into a bigger one) and… well, I’m so sorry Wes’ day didn’t go as planned.

    Every day is Wes’ day and birthdays will keep coming for many years.

  4. awww. I’m sorry that it did not go “perfectly” as planned. The best things in life never do; though, it is easier to say that than accept it as fact. You did get a very special moment that was all the more special because everything did not go as planned. I can’t believe your little man is ONE!!!! Happy Birthday beautiful boy!

  5. I’m so sorry that the party wasn’t what you had hoped. Just think of the A/C breaking at my house in 90 degree weather on the day of Finn’s first birthday party — and the way he TOTALLY rejected the homemade carrot cake I made him — and would not sit still long enough to watch even ONE of the puppet shows we had planned. He was NOT laughing and having fun as I had imagined. If it makes you feel any better, please know that I felt the same way you did — and feel that way pretty much EVERY time I host a party. Please also know that at Wes’s party, the weather was LOVELY, the food was fantastic (I stole a couple of those cupcakes on my way out!), and Finn had a great time! He was totally cracking up at those kites, and loved the bubbles! Wes was such a cutie, too… and I DID get a photo of him smiling, by the way. He is such a handsome and healthy one-year-old!

  6. I was thinking about this post today, with gratitude. So many blogs highlight only the beautiful and perfect, and that’s just not how real life works. I didn’t have my act together to plan even the smallest of celebrations (and even if we did, I’m sure it would have turned out much like yours), so your lesson-by-experience made me feel much better about the whole thing. And, like someone said above, there’s always future years. Thank heavens they’re too young to remember any of this, anyway!

    P.S. Happiest of belated birthday greetings, Wes.

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