No, I’m kidding. My girl is incredible. She does have some ideas though… large and fantastic at that. We just celebrated her birthday and our first real slumber party. When we were in the discussion period of “planning”, presenting her with options and asking what she would like to do. One of those questions is always “What kind of cake do you want?”. Mainly to see if they would prefer traditional cake and what flavor, ice cream cake, pie, etc. This kid had an entire theme planned out with an idea of what the cake should look like…. this year it was Candyland. Last year, she drew out her request of a 3 tiered topsy turvy wedding cake. This one was a bit tame in comparison but I had to smile at her excitement. I also had to tell her that we weren’t going to do a Candyland theme because this year we were doing a more casual party with her friends.
I LOVE that she enjoys her birthday. I love that we’ve made every year special for her and memorable. But, I thought it was time to reign her in a bit. Her first request was to go to Florida for her birthday. Which seemed reasonable to her since last year we took her on a trip to Chicago. I love it but I don’t. I want to keep the kids grounded and not entitled and I don’t want to miss the signs that I’m not doing that job. That is a hard thing assigned to parents. You want to give them the world but you also want them appreciative and not materialistic. Balance. Balance…. tricky business sometimes. We all as a family needed a chill celebration though this year and she was just as sweet and appreciative as other years. I thank God everyday for her heart.
In the past, I would get ideas of things I wanted to do for her and I went as far with it as I felt like…. I’d get theme-y and craft away. I had so much fun. My favorite to date was her Japanese street style party because she was really into that at the time. All rock star, bright colors, Hello Kitty, sushi, and purple hair. It was great. I was relaxed about it though because it was something I wanted to do and had ideas coming from my own head on what I wanted to do. I’ve noticed a change happening over the last few years though. This bar is now being set. An unspoken standard for celebrating something and it takes the fun out of it for me. Growing up party inspiration was in magazines–styled and not real life. It is different when it isn’t coming from a celebrity or a styled editorial but just a regular suburban housewife through Facebook, Pinterest, or blogging. It lends this idea “you can do this too” which often turns to “you should be doing this too“. Then unfortunately, “I can do this better than you.” As if we don’t have enough pressure already, the trend of aspiring to have these “if my life were on TV type parties” for a lack of anything coming to my brain to call them is starting to get old and sad.
It isn’t just birthdays. The Facebook profile life is slowly creeping into all areas. Our family holidays, sadly. Weddings, obviously. Announcing babies. Having babies. Toddler life. It is one issue I had with doing this blog over the last year. I want what I say or show to be authentic. Real life and real me. The way I intentionally live. Of course, inspiring someone is great! Not if the bar is put out there just way too high and unreal. I know I’m not the first person to comment on this plastic lifestyle. ( You like that? Mean Girls reference. :)) But I really don’t want to be a part of the problem, perpetuating this myth of what life should be like. We live in a look at me culture and I get that (and participate to an extent by way of Instagram and blogging)– but I hope more people start realizing that the way it is heading is crazy. These celebrations….or heck, LIFE becomes less about the person and more about the personalized details.
I really hope that I’m able to find a good balance. Celebrating and enjoying moments with my family while keeping them grounded. While also not letting the rising culture of Pinterest crazy get to me.
Here are a few fun images from her party (minus her friends because of protection):
Her grandma makes gourmet cupcakes and my daughter requested rainbow frosting… each had a different mystery filling and then these rainbow swirl tops. They were sparkle-fied and we giggled that these could be called her Unicorn Poop cupcakes. 🙂
Here with Grandma and then later painting nails with her friends. (Target had this fun photo booth prop kit for only $6! It was a hit. Also, painting nails is such a cheap thrill for tweens.)
Lunch with the fam. Party games and breakfast of donuts and yogurt parfaits.
Birthday girl! Her brother was appalled at her lack of toys.
Using her new curling iron. How is my girl this old?!