Can someone please tell me where this past year went?? Because it seems like yesterday that I brought tiny lil’ #6 home, but we just celebrated his first birthday this weekend.
What the heck??
At least it’s not just me. When I mentioned his birthday on Facebook (because as a mom, it’s now mandatory to do this. I think it’s in the bylaws), a lot of my friends said the very same thing- how is this possible?
I think it comes with the territory of being a parent of multiple children. I’m not being condescending to parents of one child; I remember how vividly life-changing that transition was. But what I’ve noticed (I’m sure it comes across as a “well, duh!” moment) is that the day to day often gets buried beneath a mountain of homework, laundry, car pooling, dinners, and teaching older kids how to be civilized little people, etc. And though each day seems like an eternity- both the good ones and the bad- before you know it, a week goes by.
Then a month.
Then six months.
And one year later…
So color me sentimental, but I savor the baby stage- obviously. I really do. I can’t get enough of that precious newborn smell. The nursing. The snuggling of their tiny, curled forms into the soft spot of your neck as they sleep on your chest. The teeny clothes, the smell of Dreft detergent, the assortment of pacifiers. The security of a bedside bassinet. Infant slings. Swaddle blankets. And those microscopic newborn Pampers- could they be cuter?!
Even the late-night feedings.
(I know. I TOLD you I’m a bit off.)
But this guy, well, he’s been in a hurry. I don’t blame him; after all, he’s got five older characters constantly in his sight, egging him on to move more, talk more, play more, sleep less, and wreak more havoc. He’s developed into a funny, happy, determined little man already.
And he holds his own, quite well:
Holds REEALLLY well…
And… onto the festivities!
One of the most delightful parts of being a big family is the instant party atmosphere: throw six kids under some streamers with pizza and cake and- BAM! It’s a party, kiddies! And since it was #6’s very first birthday, what better way to celebrate than with a copious amount of sugar?? In the form of his very own “smash” cake. As in, smash it into every crevice and pore. Fun!
Turning 1? Your very own cake. Never too early to avoid moderation. Or green icing.
Now because I am careful with my little one’s diets, this was #6’s first taste of sugar:
He caught on.
Birthday, good. Cake, GOOD.
Yummmm… want some??
One of the most touching aspects of having our large brood is how excited they get to celebrate someone else’s birthday. They really do. We started the tradition of having each child pick up a small gift for the birthday sibling (we’re talking dollar store value), which they really love to do. And they LOVE the decorations. In fact, I was busted on this birthday- I usually decorate our dining room the night before. I didn’t this time, citing exhaustion and lack of birthday boy’s awareness.
#3: “If #6 were old enough, he’d feel like it’s not his birthday.” Ouch.
#2: “Are you going to do decorations? Because he’ll feel like he’s not even in our family.” BUSTED!
But the point is, it’s our family tradition. And I had no idea just how important it apparently is, until I was reminded. Again. And again.
(That’s how I hear the word- every time.)
I get it, though. It’s what they know. It excites them. They’ve come to expect it, as part of our family’s way of acknowledging someone’s special day. They love the celebration.
(And the cake.)
But one person’s birthday in our family becomes an exciting family event.. sometimes literally:
…which reminded me that although this year with #6 has gone by a little too fast for my liking, it’s been a joyous experience to witness his immersion into our family- to see his siblings get to know and fall in love with him, and to watch him grow and begin to interact with them in return.
Happy 1st Birthday, #6!!!Six Pack Mom, All rights Reserved. Written For: Six Pack Mom