Angela Chee: It's my son's first birthday. We did it. We made it through the first year. I still can't believe he's a year old. Everyone tells you it goes fast, but some days, especially in the beginning, I felt like I wouldn't make it through. But I did and now my son is 1. It's a celebration for him and a celebration for us.
I didn't throw an over-the-top party, but I have to admit I got a little caught up with finding just the right decorations, party favors, and cake. I wanted it to be cool and fun. We went with a luau theme -- leis, pineapples, aloha rubber duckies, sand buckets, bubbles, and barbeque. My husband and son even wore matching shirts from Hawaii. A little corny, I know, but it was cute. I thought about entertainment, but he's only one. So I just downloaded a few luau party songs off iTunes and used a bubble blower.
Then there was the cake. I can't believe I spent hours lamenting over what kind. My son is allergic to dairy, so that was a factor. And what about the sugar issue? Part of me wanted to keep it simple and just buy one, but I didn't want my son to have any sort of reaction on his birthday, so I made him one. It was a carrot cake with Tofutti cream cheese frosting. Then I made chocolate chocolate-chip cupcakes for everyone else. Sorry, kiddo ... I'll give you chocolate later. At first, my husband said, "You're giving him a sawdust cake," but it actually turned out to be really good and tasted great. Even the adults liked it. Here's the recipe.
Then of course, giving him the cake was the best part, or it's supposed to be, right? It was a giant cupcake decorated with palm trees and surfboards. I wasn't sure what he would do. You picture them diving into the cake, ending up with frosting all over their face. Today I didn't care how big of a mess he made. Instead, my son was cautious. He touched the frosting, but didn't eat it. Maybe it was stage fright. How weird it must be to have dozens of adults surrounding your high chair, making faces at you. Then I gave him a spoon ... he scooped out a big bite and ate it. He smiled and ate some more and clapped. Not exactly what I expected, but just as special.
In the end, it's really not about the cake or the decorations, it's about everything you've been through, all the milestones he's been through. I can't help but get emotional when I think about the past year. I know there are many more milestones to look forward to, but there is something about the first year. When I look around at the friends and family who were once celebrating his arrival, now watching him run around the house, waving Hi, I get teary. He's not a little baby anymore, he's a babbling, giggling little boy with his own friends, and it just makes me smile.
What emotions have your children's birthdays brought up for you?
|Angela Chee is a television host, voice-over artist and creator of TheZenMom.com as a resource for other moms because motherhood isn't always so zen. She is a first time mom.|