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Belated Birthday Party

by Ronald A. Rowe | May 5th, 2010 | Elementary
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My son, Max, spent his ninth birthday confined to a bed as he recovered from an emergency appendectomy. Not the sort of thing a young boy dreams of for his birthday party. Also, not the sort of thing that a young boy forgets or will let his parents forget.

One thing and then another, the party was never planned, then planned but delayed, re-planned, and finally held – four months after his birthday. And it was great. He got cards and gifts from his friends, despite us describing this as an un-birthday party and expressly telling parents that they did not need to bring presents. We ponied up another gift even though he got the standard allotment from us on his actual birthday. The grandparents came through with multiple presents this time around after showering him with gifts on the actual day.

Gifts aside, he got to be the center of attention and the belle of the ball four months after his big day. It was an extra, a bonus day that made him feel special. It was just like his birthday – cake, gifts, cards, well wishes all around. A giant-sized play date with a dozen of his friends. Not bad for a random date a third of a year past his birthday.

I’m thinking this could be a trend. Why waste a perfectly good kids’ party on a kid who already has been overwhelmed with gifts, songs, cake, etc.? Maybe we should have the family party on his birthday and the kids’ party six months later on his half-birthday? He’d be happier. We’d spread out the festivities.

Then again, “expectation creep” probably would set in within a few years. Each party probably would grow until they were as big as the original. Before long it would be twice as many gifts out of my pocket, and he’d start asking for a quarter birthday party in between the actual and the half.

On second thought, this year should be the exception, not the start of a new rule.

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