Birthdays are different from when I was a kid.Only the most well off kids could host a party outside of their home, and even then, it was for a milestone occasion.I’ll never forget Karrie Leiberston’s sweet sixteen party at the local roller skating rink – they rented the whole place out for two hours.Now that was a party.
We are not what I would consider ‘well off’, but in this day and age of small homes, combined with wanting to do nothing but the best, I felt it worthwhile to sacrifice a few new wardrobe items to let my seven year old have a fun, interesting party of his dreams.We found a place that offered a variety of sport games, with two ‘coaches’ running the show, and an after room for pizza and cake after the games.They allowed up to 20 kids to participate, but I tried to keep it to 10 (ended up with 11 guests +my son).
All went well, it was a terrific party, the kids played, and they ate cake and pizza and got their loot bags and a balloon.Unfortunately, there was no time to open gifts at the party so we did this at home.It took about 6 minutes to unwrap all 11 gifts.And while not all of them ranked as Andrew’sfavorites, all were lovely and generous thoughtful gifts.The problem is that he actually doesn’t need anything.One week later, and he still hasn’t opened half of them.
While the party ended that day, there was one outstanding party task yet to be completed- the thank you cards.Andrew is usually a very polite, “please” and “thank you” kind of kid.But writing thank you notes is one of his least favourite activities.“Not everyone gives me a thank you note when I get them a present” he moans.Yes, this may be true, but not relevant, since I’m not often influenced by crowd mentality.I also wonder if I care so much because I’m trying to offset the unpleasant reality that perhaps Andrew expects that he deserves all these gifts, rather than seeing them as an incredible privilege, (another reason I tried to limit the friends, I couldn’t imagine 20 gifts!!).
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a complete party pooper.I do think his birthday should be joyous. It is miraculous that he was born, and I enjoy celebrating his birth to the fullest each year.But, as I feel with Christmas, a handwritten, homemade thank you card with a personal message is, unquestionably, essential.I understand his resistance, who wants to dwell l on the past?And, there is very little in this for him, particularly since he feels it a waste of time effort that has no positive outcome.But I am not willing to give up on this issue.Perhaps this is a lesson that takes time to learn.I believe that if I just keep making him write thank you notes that he will learn to understand and appreciate the simple gesture in the phrase “Thank you very much”.Then again, I also believe in world peace.But hey, if you don’t dream……