I read my post from yesterday again this morning and I realized it made me sound like one of those totally neurotic SAHMs that, when asked to bring a snack to the Cub Scout meeting, wind up bringing gourmet muffins in ten different flavors, made entirely from organic ingredients they harvested themselves in the miniature farm in their backyard.
I'm not really that crazy. Of course I love my son to pieces, and I want him to have a great time on his birthday. And it's true that I really can be a bit of an overachiever-mom. I think hyperactive housewifery kinda comes with the territory when a woman accustomed to working 60 hours a week at two fast-paced jobs suddenly finds herself working 24-7 in the home. But I do know my son is far too young to really care how we celebrate his birthday. I'm not even certain he knows what a birthday is yet. After all, he's only had one birthday party so far. (And he was just getting over a bad ear infection at the time, so the whole thing was probably sort of a blur to him anyway).
If it were up to him, I imagine what my son would like best to do for his birthday is pick up two or three other kids his age, take a day trip to the zoo, visit the giraffes and the bears and the turtles, take a trip on the zoo choo-choo train, and ride a tiger on the big wild animal carousel at least five times in a row while we were there.
For lunch, he'd want everyone to dine on french fries, bacon, and dried fruit. He certainly wouldn't want cake for dessert (too MESSY). He'd probably go for a big bowl of marshmallows, though (I mean, as long as they were minature marshmallows. The big kind have too much sticky inside). Maybe a little ice cream, as long as it was vanilla.
He wouldn't really want to blow out candles, anyway (he says the fire's "scary"). And I'm pretty sure he'd really rather not have to listen to a roomful of loud people singing "Happy Birthday." But he might go for two or three people singing "Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes."
He'd be absolutely thrilled to get even just one present, as long as it had something to do with trains or cars. He'd probably spend just as much time playing with the box and the paper as the present inside.
I'd love for this to be his birthday party.
But when you're one of the youngest grandchildren in a midwestern Catholic family roughly the size of the mafia, when you have not one, not two, but SIX living grandmothers (including the step- and great-grandmas), four of whom live within driving distance, well . . . let's just say you're kinda expected to put up with some serious family party time on your birthday, even if you have no clue what's going on.
But I'm sure all the hugs, kisses and loot he gets will more than make up for it. ;)