Why is your child’s first birthday about them?

This past weekend we celebrated my son Tristan’s first birthday. Even with high winds and snowfall it was a party not to be missed. Friends and family gathered to celebrate, comment on how time flies, take photos and eat cake.

The party lasted two hours, roughly the same number of months Tristan’s mother spent planning it. She thought of everything: a cake smash photo shoot, vintage 80s invitations, milk bar, four-layer cake, lights, photo display, handmade kites, a house full of helium-filled balloons, and much more. Because of all this planning the party was a huge success. My son ate cake, opened gifts and event let everyone hold him without having a meltdown. Any way you slice it, the party ran smooth.

After the party was over and everyone left,  after the house was clean and my son was asleep, after all that I sat down. I was 7 p.m. and I was ready for bed. All this work for a party that didn’t have anything to do with me. It seemed unfair. I began think that we are missing the mark when celebrating a child’s first birthday.

What I mean to say is, why the hell is the day about them? What have they done? Babies literally spend their entire first year of life sitting on their asses, crying whenever they need something. Seems to me its the parents that should be celebrated.

Can you imagine if society celebrated the parents after the first year instead of the child? Sort of a “thank you for not leaving your baby at a fire station or throwing it off a cliff” party. Just 1 day, after the 365 hardest days of your life.

The day would start late instead of early. Parents would be woken up at 10 by a house full of maids, singing Marry Poppins songs and cleaning top to bottom the house that has been neglected for the past 4 season. Breakfast would be chocolate cake, bacon and mimosas. Then off to the beach, where you would play volleyball all day long and come home with the perfect tan. Dinner would be out on the town at a restaurant that serves red meat and top shelf gin. This would be followed by music, dancing and shenanigans with friends.  The song “We Are Young” by fun. would be playing in the background all day long. It would all be amazing.

But that’s not how it goes. My son’s birthday is about him, just like every other day of this past year, and probably most days for the next 17. It’s a sacrifice I will happily make to  watch him grow up. I’m looking forward to what year two is like. More adventure, more laughter and hopefully a little more sleep.

Photo by Tracey Mason Photography – https://www.facebook.com/TraceyMasonPhotographyMaine

Pat Lemieux

About Pat Lemieux

Pat has it all, family, big old house, dogs, a young son and a quarter-life crisis. He blogs about trying to be who he has always been and be who he now needs to be. He enjoys 90's grunge metal, tasty local brews and the outdoors.