Justin and Tyler are 363 days apart. Justin is 10/10/08 and Tyler is 10/08/09.
We actually brought Ty home on Justin’s birthday.

I’ve always loved birthdays.
Not really mine – Opening gifts was always weird and awkward for me.
But I loved celebrating other’s birthdays.
Because I’m glad they were born.
So when I had kids, I always wanted to try to give them the best birthday I could… No matter our financial situation, I tried to make their birthdays special. Because I was happy they were born.
Cake, decorations (even if I made them myself), friends and family… games and food.

But I noticed each year was becoming less fun for them.
They would get overwhelmed by the people.
They didn’t want to eat the food, let alone the cake and ice cream.
They didn’t want to interact with the other people or the other kids, they didn’t like their routine being changed.
Although Tyler has finally figured out “presents” and LOVES opening gifts, Justin doesn’t really like toys, so he has no incentive to open them.
He humors me and opens one, but then gets bored, rounds up all the wrapping paper, takes it to his room and rips it up into confetti.

So each year we’ve backed off on what we did with them, had less and less people over.
It’s hard for me though.
I WANT to show them how special they are to me.
How much I am thankful for their birthday.
Thankful that they’re alive and in my life.
Show them just how much I love them.
For me, one of the ways I “show love” is by doing things for people.

So when I’m not able to have the big parties for the kids, it makes me feel bad… like I’m not being a good Mom.
I’m not showing my kids that I love them because either we can’t afford it or it’s too much for them.

Then I remember that those big parties, those gifts… those are things “I” want for them. That’s not what they want.
That’s not how they receive love from me.

So, just as we decided last year, this year is going to be different from what “I” wanted…

Instead of making them go through a party where they would end up in a room somewhere with their iPads, we’re not inviting people over, we’re not doing cake (well… I might make a cupcake or two for myself 😉 )
If we can afford it, a present for each of them that they’ll actually like.
And balloons ON their birthday, because they LOVE balloons.
I’m PRAYING we’ll be able to afford Dad to take off so he can to us them to the beach. Because they LOVE the beach.
We’ll stay as long as we can, playing in the water and the sand, come home and return to our normal schedule.

It might not seem like much, but to them, it’ll be the best birthday ever… and considering it’s THEIR birthdays… that’s all that matters.


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