Guest Blogger, An Island Life: Baby’s First Birthday Party
In Hawaii, a baby’s first birthday is a pretty big deal. I’m not sure how the tradition started but most families will celebrate their child’s first birthday by hosting a huge luau and invite pretty much every single person they know – family, friends, co-workers, long lost cousins.
The cost of throwing this event can get expensive so before we had kids my husband and I swore that we would not succumb to the pressures of having a big party. After all, not only will the child not remember it but he or she will probably sleep through the entire thing.
Then Kacie was born and everything changed. One look into her eyes and I knew I would want to share this bundle of joy with the world. After all, she was our first born. So only three days after coming home from the hospital I was on the phone trying to find a place that could accommodate 200 of our closest friends. And since I’m not really an outdoor kind of gal, instead of the beach or an outdoor recreation center I opted for a more comfortable, air-conditioned environment . . . like a ballroom.
The decorations, food, favors, centerpieces, goody bags, musical entertainment, bounce house, magic show, clown show, ice cream bar . . . the to-do list went on and on.
It took one year of planning and it was over in an instant.
I remember getting up in the morning and cooking breakfast for everyone, including the in-laws. I remember trying to give Kacie a bath against her wishes. I remember my husband driving me crazy because he couldn’t decide which shirt to wear (Seriously? That was the only decision he had to make in this whole process). Everything else is pretty much a blur but I do remember saying that I would never do it again.
Then Kiana was born and of course she had to have a big party for her, too. I didn’t want her to grow up and wonder why her older sister had such a big celebration and she had a . . . . I already get enough guilt trips from my younger sister who complains that my parents have 10 albums filled with my baby pictures and only one album for her . . . with me being in almost half of her pictures. So I spent another year planning another birthday party.
Then Kaila was born and, well, you can guess what happened.
Looking back, I don’t have any regrets about hosting these events. As predicted, the girls do not have a single recollection about their parties but they constantly watch the videotapes of all their loved ones coming together to celebrate their special milestone. However, these days birthdays are spent at Chuck E Cheese, the beach, or Grandma’s house. In fact, when Kiana turned 6 a few days ago all she wanted was to go to a local Japanese restaurant for dinner because they stick a little umbrella in the kids meals.
Big or small, every birthday is cherished when we spend it with family and friends.
Kailani is an island Mom-blogger and mom to 3 young girls. You can check out her blog at http://islandlife808.com.