Well, it's over.
Today was the last of the birthday parties of Darling Daughter nr 1.
There was the first celebration on shabbes (her non-Jewish birthday, which we celebrated only because it was later then the Jewish-we're procrastinators) with the family, a second with her friends from gan and a third in gan.
Of course, for her it was fantastic. She walked around for weeks, boasting to everyone that she has three birthdays.
But for me it was a different story.
First there was the shabbes meal, which was fine, since it wasnt a big effort compared to any other shabbes. Then came the kids party. It was my first time hosting a birthday party with a group of little kids; and well, it's exhausting.
For some reason, at least in our house, the woman is still automatically the one in charge (even though my husband said he would take care of the entertainment). And really, there's a lot to do, from preps weeks before (I saved the overload of simchat torah candy, though, so didnt have to buy any) to on the day itself, not to mention the hosting and the cleaning up afterwards. Then there was still the goody bag , which naturally had to be put together only minutes before the party. Plus, let's not forget the home-made elmo cake, which came out really well-if I do say so myself.
And then finally the last celebration in gan. It was so cute, with games, a present and some snacks. Actually, if it were up to me, this would have been her party and we could have scratched number 2. I guess it is up to me, but not entirely. Of course, nobody is forcing me to throw her a party at home. But then again, I don't want my daughter being the only one without a party. My parents didn't think much of birthdays, so I never had a party. When I was very young it was still ok, I didn't really realize what I was missing, but once as I got older, it got worse. Other kids wouldn't invite me, following the logic that since I didn't invite them, they wouldn't invite me. Then word got round that I didnt have a party and slowly I started getting invite again. But not having a party (or very often even a present) and having a birthday during the summer holidays when even my closest friends were gone, was never easy. Till this day it's a sore spot for me. I stopped expecting anything, and kind of like not doing anything. But secretly, I wish that once someone would make a big deal out of it, though I know I would't be able to deal with a big shabang, won't like being in the spot light and would be nervous the entire time about whether or not people are having a good time. So after every birthday, I feel a little disappointed and a little relieved.
I dont want my daughter to grow up with such conflicted feelings over her birthday, a day that should just be fun and a little special. I'm trying not to turn her into my project, giving her all I never had. Rather, I'll follow the minhag hamakom, and, even though I find 3 parties a little over the top and, not to mention exhausting for all, I do not want my daughter to become the odd one out.
I am glad it's over, though.
Now on to my friend's wedding and sheva brachot planning!