Six weeks off school in the summer holidays. The children are excited for whatever their parents have planned for them. Maybe they plan some time away holidaying as a family or going to stay with friends or relatives that don’t live close by. But what does that mean for those kids that have birthdays to celebrate?
O celebrates his birthday on the 9th August. No matter how the dates of the holidays fall, his is one that will always have a summer holiday birthday. He has complained incessantly that he is has not yet turned 5 years old, when the majority of his class have already celebrated their birthdays. He’s attended all but two of their parties – one, because we were already attending a family party, and the other because he was ill. ‘At least you’ll never have to go to school on your birthday,’ I’ve found myself reasoning with him. ‘You’ll always be able to spend your special day doing whatever you like with the people you love.’
But… Each year I have planned a party for his nursery and, this year, school friends and I have struggled to get RSVP’s from parents. It makes it so difficult to plan a party for an unknown number of children – how much food should I make? How many party bags do I put together? How big should I order the birthday cake? Not to mention, I think it’s quite rude not to send an RSVP to an invitation for any occasion.
Is it wrong that I want him to have a party that is as well-attended as his classmates’ celebrations? For him to feel just as popular and liked as his other friends? Maybe the only way I could potentially achieve this is by holding his party before the end of the school year. I can’t do that this year – it’s too late now, but maybe something to consider in the future. Even if I did, it would be at least 3 weeks before his actual birthday.
No matter what, we will spend his actual birthday together as a family. We will wake up to an ecstatic little boy and watch him open his presents and cards. We will watch as he flits excitedly from one toy to the next, unable to decide an order in which to play with them. We will then spend the day out visiting somewhere of his choice and have a lovely birthday lunch or dinner out. We’ll come home to a homemade birthday cake and relatives who will sing him the ‘Happy Birthday’ song and celebrate too. I just hope that he remembers all that, all the love and celebrations on his birthday, and doesn’t let a summer holiday party dampen his fun.