Yesterday, Tiny turned 1.
Like most moms, I started planning Tiny’s first birthday shortly after her first breath.
The perfect little outfit, the smash cake, the guest list, the decorations. My pinterest was full of cool themes and ideas for how to make her first birthday absolutely amazing. It seems like birthday parties in general have come a lot farther since I was a little girl! It isn’t just clowns and magic shows anymore- now they have pony rides, and tea parties and just about anything you can think of!
So I pinned away, different cakes I wanted to try to bake, outfits I might try to learn how to sew by the time the big day came, place cards for guests- the whole works. I mean you only turn 1 once right?
As the day drew closer, the decision was made that because most of my family is back in Boston, we would have a big party there when we traveled home in July, and just a little party with close family here in Savannah.
But that was okay! I could still make her little gluten-free smash cake! She could still wear a cute little dress! Grandma and Grandpa could still come and take part in Tiny’s special day!
The first problem was the tropical storm. It hit Jacksonville, which meant no Grandma and Grandpa but that was okay, we would miss them but we all agreed it was better for them to be safe. My good friend Crunchy Nurse would still come with her little boy and that would be wonderful. We would have our little party..however little it would be…
The weather was awful. Tiny was cranky. She wanted no part of her frilly white dress and honestly, with the weather what it was, she looked kind of silly. I stripped her down to her diaper and put her in her high chair with some watermelon. That’s what she wanted. To be naked and eat watermelon.
We never did get around to baking her a gluten-free smash cake. Between my sickness and having all of the kids here, we just never made time. We settled for a regular gluteny one and rationalized that maybe her problem wasn’t gluten but had just been the formula that didn’t agree with her. A few hours later Mr. Wright would regret that decision.
There were no throngs of small children to wade through like I had envisioned. No group of mommy friends with their clingy toddlers all trying to open the birthday girl’s presents. None of the usual birthday chaos. Which truthfully turned out to be blessing because the way I was feeling, I was lucky to be able to entertain Crunchy Mom and son.
When it came time for presents, they weren’t even all wrapped, not that the baby cared. Her eyes lit up with every gift and stayed that way for about 30 seconds before she swept her hand across the tray indicating she was ready for the next one. When the last present was opened and Tiny rubbed her little eyes, Mr. Wright took her upstairs to bathe and we sent her off to sleep. For her I am sure the day was perfect. For me? It just wasn’t what I envisioned.
It wasn’t a bad day at all. It just wasn’t the three ring circus I’d planned. It was like some little (irrational) part of me expected this day to feel so different than all the others, because this day wasn’t just my daughter’s birthday it was also the day I became a mom. It was the day I pushed a fully developed human infant out of a hole in my body after being in pain for over 24 hours… It was the day my life changed forever…
And maybe some small part of me, albeit selfish.. wanted that to be recognized too. Maybe I wanted balloons in the house and music and chaos to celebrate MY day. Perhaps that was why I was so disappointed.
We are planning a much bigger birthday celebration for Tiny later this summer when there will be all those things I wished for this time around. My whole family will be there, and she will have a real cake, and kids to play with and music. The whole package!
But looking back to yesterday, I realize that all the really special things: Looking into my baby’s eyes and seeing a “child” for the first time, the look on my husband’s face when all six of his children gather around the table to celebrate, the look on Tiny’s little face when she opened her first gifts by herself…Those things can’t be replicated. I can have ten parties in ten different places, but the fact is Tiny is one year old.
My baby girl is growing up:)