There's no Party and I'll Cry if I Want to

>> Tuesday, May 18, 2010

So, as much as it pains me to say this, my Sweet Baboo will be a year old in just a couple of months. I can't really believe it. I don't know where this year has gone and I really, really wish it would slow down, but there it is. And I will admit, that part of the reason why I am dreading his first birthday stems from an inferiority complex that I have. I cannot throw my son the first birthday celebration that he deserves.

I have been thinking about this since he was about six months old, and you think that four months later I'd have come to terms with it, but I'm still just as sad.

We live in a tiny apartment with barely enough room for ourselves, let alone to entertain others. That in itself isn't a huge problem. There are other places to have a party. We originally thought we'd have it at my parents house. But as readers of this blog know, my parents are a big ball of issues. It is fairly impossible to involve them in any special occasion and have it still remain special. They are physically incapable of not starting huge arguments that ruin everything, adhering to a schedule of any kind, or generally participating in civilized society. I know that they would just ruin it, and all my hard work, and I would be livid and devastated. My extended family has similar issues. They are two hours late for EVERYTHING. If I were to hold the party at a picnic area in the park, for example, they would all roll in after our reservation had expired. I would plan the party to take place between Baboo's naps, and they would show up after he'd fallen asleep. And I am not exaggerating. They were two hours late to my baby shower. They were two hours late to Baboo's christening. And don't even get me STARTED on the fiasco that they turned my wedding day into.

The Hubbs family is across the country, so they're out. There's a chance that we'll be in their city this summer around Baboo's birthday, and we would LOVE to hold the party there and invite them as well as old friends (we used to live there as well), but here's the problem: The Hubbs parents are divorced and remarried, and they would never consent to being in the same room or park or general vicinity of one another. They each have had new children with their new spouses, but none of the children have ever met. The Hubbs is the only one of his siblings who has met his half siblings on the other side. I do not feel comfortable only inviting one side of the family to something like that.

So then I thought, we could just invite friends. We could freeze family out in its entirety, and just invite friends. Except we really don't have any. We moved to a different city right after Baboo was born, and we've both been so busy with school and taking care of him that we haven't met too many people. I joined a mom's group, but I only know the women on a surface level so far, and I'd feel weird inviting them to my son's party. It would feel gift grabby, and I'd be embarassed that a bunch of people I hardly know would be the only guests in attendance. The Hubbs has met a couple people at school with kids that we could invite, but we feel like it would be the same thing. Just weird, you know? We were hoping we'd know them better by July, but it's only two months away and it still doesn't feel right.

And then there's the issue of the preparation. If I was going to have a party for him, I'd have to start planning NOW because I'd want it to be GREAT. It needn't be over the top in any way, but I would at least want it to be put together. I'd want the colours to coordinate, I'd want the decorations to look like they didn't come out of the discount bin at the dollar store, I'd want the food to be delicious. I feel like its too late to put together anything good.

A couple of months ago The Hubbs and I talked about all of this and decided we'd just celebrate on our own, just the three of us. We'd have a cake and good food and decorations, but we wouldn't invite anyone else. Then we'd take Baboo someplace really special for the first time, like the zoo or Marine Land. We'd buy him a special birthday outfit to wear, maybe attach a helium ballon to his arm for the day so that everyone would know he's the birthday boy. We'd get him something REALLY special for his gift--something he would love. And I thought it could be really special and really great. I mean, he has no idea what a birthday is, how important could it be that he have a big party? So that was our plan, and we were set.

And then I saw this. And I wanted to cry. Partially because I could never do that. Never in a million years. I could start planning now for Baboo's 16th birthday, and it would fall short of that. But another reason I wanted to cry is because I don't have family and friends that would make all of that effort worthwhile. I don't have a big group of people willing to come together, on time, to celebrate my son. Kelle Hampton says that celebrating a birthday is celebrating life. That's why she goes all out.

Does the fact that I am not "going all out" mean that I am not celebrating my son's life? Does his life mean less to me than her kids' lives mean to her because I am not throwing annual birthday bashes that put my wedding to shame? Doubtful, yes. But still. It makes me really sad that my son will never have a celebration like that because I don't have the means, the talent, but most importantly the support and love of others to make it happen. Even if I could sew costumes for all my guests and hand engrave their names on a million luxury party favours, I would be doing it for people that I am not close to. I would be doing it for people that I cannot trust to understand how important this day is to me, and to respect it. When you celebrate something really important and meaningful, you want those closest to you there. My son's life and birth mean everything to me--and the people closest to me are him and my husband. So maybe its unfair that he won't get a big, elaborate first birthday. But I hope he won't feel any less loved.



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