Monday, July 25, 2011

I Won't Stop Believin'

Birthday parties are tricky.  As a mom, I sometimes worry excessively about providing the right touches and getting everything "perfect."  More than anything, I know myself... and I know the strange feeling of disappointment when you've expected something more from that particular, special day that marks your birth.  Usually, it strikes me mid-day on my birthday, coming from the very center of my unconscious, a desire for this day to be filled with fireworks and magic and that intangible something special that I may not even have words to express.

As I've learned to be "in the moment" and express gratitude for the specialness of every day, this feeling has subsided somewhat for me because I realize that I'm in control of my own happiness.  But for my kids, I still worry that I'm helping them to have the best birthday possible, whatever that might mean for them.  I want to help them celebrate their special day, the day that I was able to bring them into their own existence, the day that changed my life for the better.  A little bit of pressure?  You think?

The thing is, when they were little it was more about taking something they love and just theming the hell out of their parties.  If they loved Toy Story, then I hired Cowgirl Jessie to come and round up the lil' pardners.  If they loved superheroes, I made supergirl bathing suits and capes for them to wear in the pool.  But now, I have to really listen to them, understand what they really need to feel good in the world, and try to figure it out.

Which brings me to last night.  For Serena's 10th birthday - double digits! - I had suggested that we take just two friends and her sisters to see a Journey cover band at the local park. Some swimming before and after.  Pizza.  Cupcakes.  Glow sticks.  She said okay, and we planned it, just a little.  And then I worried.  Would she be happy?  Would she feel satisfied?  Would it be enough?  

And then a few more of my friends came.  A picnic happened.  I talked Serena's grandma into joining us for at least a few songs.  The girls ate kettle corn and sno-cones.  By the last song -- "Don't Stop Believin'," of course -- everyone was on their feet, like a real concert, and there was Serena, hanging on the stage, starstruck, glowing from head to toe.

As we walked back to the car, emblazoned with our glow stick necklaces and headbands, I overheard Serena talking.  I didn't catch all of it, but I did hear this:  "best birthday ever."

And that made me glow brighter than all 10 candles on a single cupcake.


  1. You rock "lighter swaying in the breeze getting your mellow on" style.

  2. Oh, I shoulda come to that concert! I shoulda seen Serena's face . . . what magic. And what a magical blog you made of it.