Another Children’s Birthday Party / To Go Or Not To Go That Is The Question


I do not like attending grandiose children‘s parties after their 1st year.  I love children, and usually their joyful noises do not bother me, but when they are in numbers more than four and they are all making every noise from crying to joyfully loud noise of play, it tends to get to me just a little.  Throw into the mix screaming parents trying to get their children to pose for picture, play nice, or eat and I am not having fun anymore and so I wonder why it is that people having these parties and why I keep going to them?  I am losing it, this is only a 4 hour thing and it does show your support for your family and friends, so what can it hurt to go to these functions and get to know these young people? What is wrong is I really do not like these things!

I sit here at my computer feeling a little guilty, because I have been invited to my grandson Liam’s  3rd birthday party this weekend and I am not all that eager to go.  I went to his 1st birthday party where there were more grownups than kids and managed not to argue with the ex-wife, took lots of pictures of Liam and his guests. My daughter’s best friend’s two boys, my eldest daughter’s 3 children and his paternal  uncles, aunts and grand parents were all in attendance and all seemed happy to be there sharing in Liam’s 1st birthday party experience.

The problem is that I find that I am being asked to attend these parties all of the time now and it has become fashionable to have a good mix of adults in with the children at these types of parties.  I understand having the desire, or even the need to have a parent of an invited child remain at the party when the children are very young, but that is where I draw the line.

I had one a big birthday party when I was a child and that was my 1st and all of the adults and children im my family were in attendance, but after that all family birthday parties were kept to siblings and relatives living in our house.  We ate my favorite supper, after which the lights were turned off and a cake with the appropriate number of lit candles was set in front of me, so that I could make a wish and blow them out all the while the members of my family were singing happy birthday to me.  After successfully blowing out the candles I received gifts from everyone and we would talk, sing songs and after about 30 minutes from the time we sat down to eat supper, the house and the family returned to normal and life resumed its normal course.  My biggest thrill was I did not have to help with the dishes, because it was my birthday.

This helped to keep the cost of birthdays down for everyone, but more importantly stopped older children from having to feel guilty about not wanting to party with their younger relatives and stopped their parents from having to force them to come.  It also stopped people like me with no little children in this age group from feeling obligated to go, so we do not hurt the feelings of the ones we love, by turning the invitation down.  I have 5 grandchildren, nieces and nephews on both sides of the family, so I could be eating cake and singing happy birthday every single day of the year and if I miss one and go to another I am dead meat.  I suppose I could feign sick, after all I did just have an operation, or I could say I have to work, but that would only help for the one instance and it would be at best a short-term band-aid solution.  Forget it telling the truth is out of the question, I am Grandpa, Liam’s favorite toy and babysitter of all of my grandchildren at one time or another and knight in shining armor to my oldest granddaughter and I could and would never hurt them for so small a thing as showing up at their birthday party.

What have I been thinking about, besides I have a personal invitation from Liam and he would be crushed if I did not show up and so would all of the others.  I love them unconditionally and they have grown to trust and love me in the same manner.  Who will keep their parents off of their butts, if I do not go?  Who will get down on the floor with Liam and show him how to use his new toys, or start a sing-song, if I do not go?  It will not be all bad the invitation says there is to be a live reptile show.

I guess the writing is on the wall they love me and I love them and somehow after whining and getting it out of my system  a chance to spend a little extra time with my children and grandchildren can not be considered a bad thing, so I will go and be a grandfather, a toy and a friend with a good heart and the right spirit and I will do my best to make sure that Liam has the best 3rd birthday party any child can have.

What was it that had me so negative about these events that I could not see the good that they do, like reinforcing family bonds and ties.  Maybe it was that I am diabetic and can’t have any of the cake and ice cream, or that I am usually taking a nap at the time of the party, but it was silly of me.  I have worked hard to gain their trust, respect and love and to make a family that loves each other and that wants to be around each other and that can not be bought, or ordered, so how could I be so foolish as to start to push them away, just as my life’s work is beginning to take root and is ready to grow?

This morning I got a phone call from my youngest daughter; my eldest daughter and her kids are not going to Liam’s birthday party, they are ages 8, 12 and 16 and I smile to myself thinking that they will not be attending anymore of  Liam’s, or Emily’s little parties, they are getting too old for that sort of thing and have out grown them.  It makes me realize just how short life is and how important it is to seize every opportunity to love, share and enjoy all of the important things in life that seem so bothersome, trivial and a waste of an afternoon at some point in time.  It takes so long to get back to doing what is important rather than what is what we want for our own motives and benefit and sometimes we never do.

I got a phone call from Liam the day before his party and he could hardly talk, he was so excited about his birthday party.  He never mentioned gifts, cake, or ice cream, but what he did mention was that his  parents along with his uncles, aunts, grandparents and friends were all coming to the party just to see him.  I could just imagine how he was feeling; I could see him beaming; I could hear it in his voice and I felt a little ashamed and a little foolish that I was considering not going to Liam’s birthday party.

In closing I would just like to say that sometimes the party is not for you, but for the child and you may feel that they are boring and are a waste of  your time, but let me assure you that they are going to be the memories that warm your heart in your old age and more importantly, they will be the memories that make the child smile today and the memories that will keep them smiling all through their lives.  Certainly all of this must be worth a few hours of our time on a Saturday afternoon.

Playing And Singing With Our Children Even When We Are Tired

About archemdis

I try to say what is on my mind and not hurt others, but some things need to be said whether they hurt or not and I do just that. I try to listen as well as talk, but my opinion is just that mine. You need not take it as your own, just respect the fact that I am entitled to it, as you are yours. I do read all comments, but will only answer, or allow to be displayed those which adress me by name, refer to the post by name in the comment, or that have been sent through the proper channels. In this manner I can tell whether the comment was meant for me and that it is not just spam.
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