I’ve been slapped with the reality that in a few short weeks I will have a four-year-old. It feels like it was yesterday when I started this blog, pregnant and stressed, about entering motherhood. Fast forward to today where I have a wonderful, happy, and intelligent kid who I couldn’t imagine my life without.
With birthdays come presents, planning, and parties. I decided to save the party for the big age 5 next year… but I’m already trying to come up with ideas. A little part of me is nervous though.
Growing up, I never liked when my mom threw birthday parties for me. At the time, I never felt like they were “for me”. It was filled with a lot of her friends and their kids who I never spoke with. I also didn’t like being the center of attention… being forced to greet everyone that walked through the door whether I knew them or not. But now looking back, I appreciate everything that my mom did. We grew up with little family in Michigan and my mom just wanted to make sure I felt special on my day. She invited everyone she knew so my parties wouldn’t be empty and depressing. She stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to prepare for “my guests”. She did everything in her power to make sure this one day of the year was all about me.
While I love and appreciate the few family members that I know, I always wondered what it’s like to be surrounded by cousins, aunts, and uncles during a holiday. What is it like to attend a family reunion or have big family traditions? One thing I always feared for my kids was that they wouldn’t understand what family means or they would be envious of their friends and their family situation.
I have a few relatives on my father’s side that live in the U.S and I find it extremely sad that I don’t know who they are. Yes, I’ve met them before when I was younger but they never seemed to want to build any type of relationship with me. Just recently I saw my father’s sister had a facebook page and commented on my sister’s page… and I must admit I was jealous. Never once did she reach out to me to say “congrats on graduating high school”, “congrats on graduating college”, “congrats on the birth of your child”… not even a “happy birthday”. Nothing.
Did she expect me to reach out to her? Wasn’t she the adult in our situation?
I don’t believe there was anything I could’ve done better growing up to prevent the situation that I currently deal with. Yes, I could try to reach out now but I don’t care to. If you’ve gone 24 years and never once cared about me, why should I even want you in my life?
And on the other hand, my exes family is a dysfunctional mess. They physically fight and dog one another worse than a stranger off the street… something that I don’t want my sons to be exposed to.
I just don’t want my kids to ever feel alone and unloved due to the lack of family.
I don’t want them to grow up and feel the same emotions that I feel now. I don’t want them to fill what’s supposed to be a positive moment with negative feelings. I don’t want them to not want to have a birthday party or a wedding (one day) because they don’t want to constantly answer that annoying question of “where is the rest of your family”.
With that being said, I will be my mom inviting the entire world to their birthday party, going over the top to make sure they feel like the most important and incredible person on THEIR day.. and every day.
Next year, you are all invited.