There is just something about celebrating birthdays with a child. They take on their older age with a grin, create elaborate wish lists and wait expectantly for the first taste of cake.
My daughter, who must be an event planner-in-training, also knows exactly how she wants to celebrate. She starts planning her parties a year in advance. In fact, we have themes in line for her next three birthdays! With some limitations on budget and cartoon characters, I am happy to make her party dreams come true.
But, the mom in me longs to inject some elements of surprise into her day. This is where birthday morning moments come in. It's all about making her feel special from the second she wakes up.
Moments that Have Turned Into Traditions
My daughter has only celebrated four birthdays, but I already have a few traditions in place that I know we would miss if they didn't happen.
Filling the floor of her room with balloons. I stick with colors that match her chosen party theme.
Tying balloons to her chair at the table, starting with one on her highchair to celebrate the first birthday and adding one for each year.
Serving a special muffin for breakfast. They, of course, look strikingly similar to cupcakes, and are easier to get away with eating first thing in the morning. The muffin may or may not come with frosting, I'll never tell!
Moments I Look Forward to Creating
Now, I'm all for tradition, but after waking up to balloons and muffins for a few birthdays, my little girl has come to expect them more than be surprised by them. For her next birthday -- number 5! -- I've got a few extra treats in mind to make sure the wide smile of genuine surprise still shines.
Taping crepe paper streamers across her doorway, so she has to break through them to get out her room.
Creating a breakfast tea party using her tea set because having a tea party with "real food and water," is her most frequent request.
Giving her a blank daily calendar page to fill in with things she wants to do and places she wants to go on her day.
Although her birthday is still six months away, my daughter already plans to mark the occasion with a Rapunzel-themed dance party at our local inflatable fun zone while enjoying two kinds of cake.
Clearly, she gets the desire to look ahead from me since I, too, have already made plans for her special birthday morning.
I do this because the gifts often disappear, the cake gets eaten and, one day, she'll lament growing older. She might not have the time or passion to plan her fanciful parties.
I do this because I want my girl to remember mom cared enough to make a big deal out of the little moments of her daughter's special days and so she'll do the same for hers.