Our high-spirited son made us whole. He came into this world on the night of a massive thunder/lightning storm in Washington D.C. The storm knocked the power out of the city. Aidan’s name in Irish means the Celtic God of Fire. Coincidence? I think not. This kid has been a firecracker since the moment he came into this world.
People have often asked me if I miss anything before Aidan came along. Going out? Staying up late? Sleeping in? And I honestly don’t. Despite my occasional exclamations for bursts of air, I genuinely love being a mother. I don’t miss a thing.
Actually, I take that back. I do miss using two utensils at once during mealtime. But that’s about it.
Aidan’s birthday will be a celebration. He’s one amazing child, and he deserves a special day. But it will also be a moment of reflection for me and Stephen, as we give ourselves a pat on the back for surviving an entire year of the so-called terrible twos.
In this last year of endless meins and neins (at least he’s learning Deutsch, eh?), Aidan, Stephen and myself have bonded in ways I never thought possible.
We’ve spent many an afternoon holding Aidan in his bedroom, discussing the events leading to tear-ridden timeouts and cranky corner-times. We’ve mourned the loss of broken toys, many of which met their untimely demise after being projectiled across the room in a fit of toddler rage. We’ve crouched on the ground together, searching desperately on all fours for that dang pacifier, a must-have in our world of post-8pm silent evenings.
In moments of exhaustion, we’ve picked up some regrettable language.
I don’t like you, mama.
But amidst the weary, we’ve experienced the wonderful. We’ve cuddled together on rainy days, watching A Bugs Life or some other Disney/Pixlar film. We’ve tired ourselves out dancing wildly to “Uptown Funk” (who hasn’t?!) and Swedish House Mafia (who has??). We’ve built sandcastles on the ocean, and set up elaborate construction sites in sand pits. We’ve jumped on the couches when we weren’t supposed to, fallen on the floor in fits of giggles…
…and have always, always, returned to a language worthy of remembrance.
I love you, mama.
We’ve done it all. And I wouldn’t change a second of it.
As my mother did for her three children, I want to create fun birthdays for Aidan for years to come. Elaborate, fun parties, all centred around the things he loves.
This year, Aidan loves, and I mean loves, the farm. The animals, the hay, and especially the tractors.
I’m not sure how much of this I can get done. But this week I officially began. Fingers crossed I can get through this list:
- Tractor cake
- Popcorn feeds
- Pig pen cupcakes
- Strawberry field pops
- Rice Krispy treat hay bales
- Lots and lots of decorations
- Egg Carton gift boxes
First up, the gift boxes. I’ve been saving up egg cartons for the last couple weeks. All to make these cute little thank you gifts…
These were simple to make. Collect egg cartons, peel off label, trace paper with label, cut, paste, and decorate.
I love the way these look. The picnic checkered paper just screams farm, as does the faded twine (not to mention the chick printout:)). The four-egg carton size is also perfect for toddlers. Just enough room for small kinder eggs and a few bits and bobs.
The only thing to do with these is to fill the inside, and of course to eat more eggs so that I have enough gift cartons to go around. I’ll have to make a few more frittatas in the next month it seems.
I also managed to snag a few of these cute farm animal hangers at a local store.
Print outs were all set and I just needed to put them together. I usually like having everything homemade for parties like these. But one must pick and choose her battles when engaged in toddler warfare, am I right?!?!
Not sure where they’ll sit on the big day, but I’m sure I’ll find a place for them.
As you can tell, I’m not sure who is going to have more fun at his birthday; me or Aidan. It’s going to be a fantastic day.
This year’s birthday is especially important because his grandmother Junko will be celebrating with him for the first time. Given how magical my mother made our birthdays, I’m thrilled that I can share my ideas with her and pick her brain when needed. I’m looking forward to a week of crafting! I just hope she doesn’t arrange all my ideas like she did my Christmas ornaments a few holidays ago. Nothing like a Tiger Mama to bring out the OC in all of us!
In all seriousness, though, I love that as I get older I am becoming more like her. I just hope that one day my son will remember his birthdays the way I do mine.
Magical. Effortless. And absolute joy.