Birthdays – until I had children I never thought it would be such a huge thing. Birthdays always meant celebration at home; sandwiches, mini pizzas, samosa ( as we grew older), wafers, and juice.
Games at these parties were what my mother would come up with. 1 minute challenges, passing the parcel, paper dance, and some random dancing.
Photographs would be clicked by my father and the roll would be given for developing once it got over. Some pictures would be great, some obscure, and some just laughable. But so much fun.
Return gifts – would almost always be stationary. Pencil boxes, fancy erasers, sharpeners, pencils, colours.
Today it’s a different world out there. There’s insane amount of planning that is needed to pull of a good birthday. Hats off to all parents who painstakingly put these parties together. From the decor to the food to the cake to the outfit that the child and parents wear needs planning. Birthdays were so much simpler when I was growing up.
A friend asked me if I would be there at a birthday party and I asked which one. Then I realised I wasn’t invited to it so said no to my friend. Note how I say ‘I’ wasn’t invited, birthdays now are more for the adults to socialise than the children really.
Since a bunch of others were invited to the party and I was perhaps one of the few mothers who wasn’t, I felt bad.
I didn’t realise that I had carried this sadness home. After dinner I was sitting alone and trying to read when my son came up to me and asked what’s wrong.
Me – nothing at all
Son – you are looking sad Amma
Me- smiling, just thinking about something
Son- prodding, but what?
Me- some birthday party that we are not invited to
Me- I tell him the name
Son- who is that?
Me- that’s when it struck me. While I may be feeling sad about not being invited to a party where everyone else has been, my child was right – he didn’t know the child at all. What sense would it make to be invited?
Lesson learnt – don’t try and be everywhere with everyone. It’s not possible and you won’t do justice to either them or yourself. Choose well and stay happy!