Have you ever carried a screaming toddler, over your shoulder, up the stairs and out of a birthday party with your eldest son being dragged along behind as you do? We have. This past Sunday actually.
For me, when the emotions start to get the best of me and I am crying buckets at the thought of my babies growing up, I start planning parties. It is my way of keeping some sort of center while celebrating their incredible achievements and rights of passage.
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I recently found myself wondering: When and why did kids' birthday parties become such high-octane, deeply managed showpieces? So far this year, Little Dude has been invited to ten birthday parties. I realize that by writing all of this, he may never get another invitation, but what the hell?
We are robbing our children (and ourselves) of the real value of birthdays and gift-giving: the recognition that it is an expression of how much we care about the people close to us.