In my family, we usually celebrate birthday week. We figure this makes sense, particularly if your birthday falls on a weekday. My sister celebrates birthday month, which I love, too.
X-man's birthday is Thursday. But we started celebrating on Saturday with a family party and then on Sunday with a kid party. This kind of took the whole weekend, so I'm thinking that maybe next year, we'll combine. X-man really could have used some kids to play with on Saturday, and since he's kind of by himself on my side of the family (only one other cousin has had a child and he's 3 months old). I let him open his gifts first, so he'd have some stuff to play with, and that seemed to help. But when I found him at the bottom of the basement stairs in tears because all the adults were talking to play with him and Mom and Dad were too busy getting lunch ready for the all-adult crowd, I started to get tears in my eyes, too.
I loved and hated my birthday as a kid. I got so excited about the fact that there would be one day in the year that everyone would seem excited about me. It might be my turn to be special. And then everyone would sing to me -- and I'd fall apart in absolute tears. Too much attention... And the crying on my birthday became a theme... for a long, long, long time. So, when I get through a birthday without crying, it's considered a good one. I've had five. Note that this only applies on my actual birthday day. In my late 20's I decided to stop celebrating and told people to just donate money. That was met with some cheers and some anger. Then I went into therapy, where I was told: Celebrate your birthday, Loosey. Celebrate yourself. So, I sighed and kept trying.
So when X-man came along, I decided that, dammit, he was going to have whatever his little birthday desires could be. So, he tells me what he'd like for his birthday, and I go nuts over it. Yes, it's complete spoilage. But no tears. I figure as long as he's being safe, unselfish and not acting like a jerk I'll entertain a lot of things within reason. Though unlike my birthday, this lasts his birthday week. It's crappy, self-indulgent parenting, I know. But I figure the other 51 weeks a year, he gets a hard ass for a mother. So, you know -- I'll go with it.
Today was his friend party. He chose who he invited this year. Mostly it was the people he has regular play dates with and their siblings and then he wanted to invite our neighbors. He's excited about seeing them all outside again when the weather warms. We weren't even home from the Little Gym, when he said from the backseat. "My birthday was great!" Then at home, we got giant "I love yous" and "Thank yous." And he's not even complaining about getting in the tub. Of course, his new bathtub crayons might be the reason why he's excited about that.
I know he's still four, even though he wanted to wear his birthday shirt today to his Justice League party. But he's so ready to be a big kid 5, it's amazing.