We set a precedent with Poss and her birthday celebrations early. She was fortunate enough, or I was crazy enough, to be doing events when she was little. This meant she was often the test case for some pretty amazing party ideas.
One year we built a stage in our backyard for a ballet party and the guests went home with a tutu each. Another year, a catwalk was constructed for a Paris fashion party. Another year we did Luna Park with a bunch of kids and another year we hired out a beauty salon and the kids were all pampered for a few hours.
She’s an only child I’d say, as I spent hours planning these extravaganzas. Lolly buffets, matching take home gifts, custom designed outfits. Excessive was a word that was tossed around more than once, to which I would scoff and say I loved it. Because I did.
Unfortunately Poss wasn’t so keen. In fact last year she ended up in hospital the day after her party. While the two aren’t technically related, I can’t help but hold onto guilt about how that all played out and I don’t doubt that the anxiety a big party caused her, contributed to that hospital stay.
So this year, we did something different. In fact, we didn’t really do anything. She chose the activities and we promised we’d respect whatever choice she made.
On her birthday itself we’d planned to go out to dinner, but when her lovely friends that she’s made on the AutCraft server all got together and planned an online, virtual MineCraft party, complete with party games, we cancelled the dinner reservation and ordered take away while she partied.
We ate cupcakes that were made in the likeness of Stampy Longnose, before we played a made up Simpsons game that is pretty much composed of Poss telling us all the obscure facts she’s memorised from years of watching it every night at 6pm and us applauding her brilliance.
On the weekend she wanted to make home-made pizza’s at my parents place. So we picked up a friend and we did just that. There was dessert pizza, followed by a pretty awesome Stampy Longnose cake. Clearly I can’t let go of everything – the cakes still have to be fabulous!
We rounded it out by watching One Direction videos in preparation for their concert this coming weekend, which we’ll be heading along to as her birthday present. Because too much One Direction is never enough.
She was still anxious, still a bit unsettled; we’ve spent hours sorting tiny little Hama beads into separate colours to find a sense of calm. There have been some late nights and some tears, but the smiles and laughter have far outweighed them.
Her joy at the little details; a Minecraft poster, or a singing Louis (from One Direction) doll, has been immense. Reading the birthday messages you’ve all left for her on my social media channels resulted in a smile beaming from ear to ear.
Small things, little things, but they meant the world to her. She didn’t miss the fuss, the excess, the copious amounts of stuff and the hoards of people. In fact, she seemed infinitely calmer without it.
She might be the one turning ten, but it was me that learned a lesson this birthday; sometimes less really is more, especially for Poss. And we all had a better time for it.