articles / Family life

A new birthday tradition

Josiah turned 4 years old two weeks ago and we decided to do something a little different this year for his birthday.

For the past three years I’ve stressed over the theme of the party, where it was going to be, who was going to come,

Josiah riding to the lake with his Nana and Granddad.

Josiah riding to the lake with his Nana and Granddad.

how I was going to entertain them, etc…For those of you that know me, I am not an entertainer — at least for large groups of people. I find it quite stressful to invite 20 people that aren’t super familiar with each other for a party. I’m a one or two people at a time kind of girl. Groups are not my thing. Add to it that my parents are divorced (so there are three sets of grandparents) and it just makes it even more interesting (FYI my parents are very cordial, but hey, who wants to hang out with their ex?).

I decided I wasn’t doing it this year. I wasn’t going to spend two months planning a party and a cake and all that mess. Why should I? Josiah cares nothing about a party. Now hold on, bear with me, I didn’t say we weren’t going to celebrate his birthday, I just decided no party.

When I asked Josiah what he wanted for his birthday, his response was, “a pond.” No, not a pool — he was very specific — he wanted a pond. There my idea was born.

My Dad and Annita enjoy camping and we haven’t gone since before Josiah was born so I thought it be fun to take him camping for his birthday.

So the plan was instead of everyone getting together and celebrating and bringing a ton of presents (that he doesn’t need anyway) we decided three separate events would benefit us all.

The night of his birthday we went to his Grandma Laura’s and Papa John’s house (Jimmi’s parents) for cake and presents. The very next day we left to go camping with his Nana and Granddad (my dad and Annita). We camped with them for a few days, had cake and he got new fishing gear from us for his birthday. He got play-doh and other stuff from my dad and Annita.

But wait — there’s more. Laura took Josiah to Chuck-E-Cheese (something I’d never dare do) the weekend after we got back camping. His birthday event with his Granny and Papa Jerry (my mom and step-dad) has been postponed, but they plan to go to a local water park.

Josiah has had a blast celebrating his birthday! He’s got to do some cool things and spend quality time with the people he cares about.

I’m not against birthdays and I’m all for celebrating. He still got plenty of presents and he got to do something cool for his birthday. His birthday shouldn’t be about me stressing and trying to entertain a bunch of adults while Josiah plays (which is what would happen if we invited a bunch of his friends). His birthday should be about the family celebrating his life and showing him how precious he is to us.

I think this will be a new birthday tradition. Maybe next year we’ll go to Branson, who knows? Of course, as he gets older if he wants a party that’s what we’ll give him, but I don’t think he’ll feel deprived if we continue this tradition.


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