What I've come to discover is that throwing children's birthday parties are extremely difficult. I struggle with wanting to honor her birthday, but not wanting to have an overly extravagant, expensive party. I've been to some really nice children's birthday parties with bounce houses, snow cone machines, water slides, and insanely beautiful birthday cakes and decorations. It's not that I don't want those things for Clare, but I do want her to appreciate all things and to be gracious when a party is thrown in her honor. I want her to value relationships such as family and close friends and I want her to derive her joy and happiness from these relationships. I also want her to know that because it's her birthday it does not mean she is entitled to an inordinate amount of gifts. And so I struggle with throwing her a party.
Overall, I think the party we threw was very nice. It was so wonderful that so many of our family and friends were able to come. Edgar grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and we had many different sides to share and eat. I did end up ordering a cake because I had a lot going on the week before the party. I ordered her a Dora cake from Krogers and she loved it. The cake toppers were also toys, and she has been playing with them since I was able to wash them off. I bought some balloons and Clare and her friends loved carrying them all over the party. Clare played with her friends in her playroom and at one point closed the door and wouldn't let any adults in. We sang her happy birthday and she loved blowing out the candle and even asked if she could do it again. I think she had a lot of fun and I think it's going to take me at least a full year to think and plan another simple event for next year.