I love birthdays. I love celebrating the fact that someone I love exists on this planet and that I get to know them. My kids’ birthdays are my favorites — I get to reflect on how my little guys are growing, ponder the speed with which time passes, and spend a whole day celebrating their existence. We’ve developed a great set of birthday traditions in our family — Dan stays home from work, both boys stay home from school (for as long as Liam prefers to be home instead of at school for his birthdays — B, with a summer birthday, doesn’t really have to choose), the birthday boy gets to choose any birthday activity that he likes and he gets to select the meals for the day (and, of course, the cake and ice cream). I just love seeing how each of my guys chooses to celebrate their big day.
This year, Liam wanted to go to the pool. He was absolutely sure that he wanted to go to the pool and that he didn’t want a party — just family, and a day at the pool. Great! (The day before, he changed his mind and said that he DID want a party, but then he changed it back.) But, when he woke up on the morning of his birthday, after opening all his gifts, he suddenly changed his mind and decided he wanted to go to the zoo, instead. The zoo is one of my favorite outings in Vienna, and it’s absolutely fantastic in the early fall, and even better (and less crowded) on the weekdays. So, that was also great!
And so, to celebrate Liam, we went to the zoo. We saw pandas and polar bears and penguins. We saw the big cats eating their dinners (yikes!). We stopped for hot chocolate and chocolate pretzels and ice cream. The boys climbed and slid and spun all around the playground and we all rode on the zoo train. We had a great day. Most importantly, Liam had a great day.
And then, at the end, my very grown up 4 year old boy informed us all that it was time to go home, and we did, and when we arrived there, he very shortly passed out on the floor for an impromptu birthday nap. We finished the day with strawberry dinosaur cupcakes (by request). (I made, for the first time ever, strawberry frosting from scratch for the cupcakes. It was GREAT. The kids hated it. But the cake and the toy dinosaurs were a hit.)
My little guy turned 4 years old. We celebrated his birthday the whole day long, exactly the way that he wanted to. A good time was had by all. It was a very good birthday celebration. Yay for Liam and for turning 4!