By Catie Gosselin
I don’t handle my kids’ birthdays very well. I love planning parties and giving them a special day full of surprises, but the part about them getting a year older is tough stuff for me.
It really is a mixed up time. On the one hand, I’m so excited about the surprises and decorating the house. (you really should see what I can do with a plain Dunkin’ Hines Cake!) On the other hand, I burst into tears while singing a lullabye, remembering the first time I sang my boys to sleep. To their credit, all the guys, my husband included, have accepted my frequent crying bouts as the norm. There are no blank stares, just an offered tissue and hugs.
Children’s birthdays are very much like New Years; a time to reflect on the past and look to the future. It is amazing to think of all the things parents learn from their children. My boys have taught me, for example, that… it’s alright to wear pajamas until lunchtime if you want. books are always better when read in bed while snuggling, there is never a bad time to sing, parenting is a process; once you feel like you’ve figured it out, kids move into the next stage you don’t have to belong to the “clean plate club” to be happy the simplest days are always the most memorable
When I became a parent, I assumed I would be the “teacher”. My boys have shown me it is really a two-way street. While I teach them about being kind and honest, the sound letter “M” makes, and how to tie shoes, they teach me about my priorites, my weaknesses, and my strengths. I may cry with each birthday, but I will grow with each passing year from the lessons they shared.