First Birthdays

Boo's first birthday is coming up, and despite what all of the advice in the magazine articles and baby books say, we want to make a big deal out of it. For God's sake, he's our first baby, and he's turning ONE. We're having a party, and we're going all out. Other people can have small, quiet parties - we want to celebrate!

Boo is not one to shy away from parties. If he were, then perhaps we would tone it down a bit, as many people suggest doing for first birthdays. But parties contain some of the things he loves the most: an audience, food, lots of excitement, and colorful things all around him. And lots of paper - wrapping paper, that is.

We're going with a barnyard theme - a tractor cake (we'll see how that turns out), sandwiches in the shapes of farm animals, farm animal balloons and other fun barnyard-related items (would a cow pinata be a bit much for a one-year-old's birthday? We're still debating...). We bought bandanas for our dogs to wear, and I've heard some people might dress up for the theme. When it comes down to it, we picked the theme because we can use bright colors and because Boo loves animals.

First birthday parties are really for the parents, almost more than for the child, who will not even remember his first birthday except through our retelling of the stories. My husband and I are looking forward to celebrating our first year as Boo's parents, of being so blessed to be able to watch him grow into the amazing little almost-toddler that he is now. In a way, we want to throw him a big party to say thanks to him, for being such a fantastic baby and for filling this past year with so much love, joy, silliness and fond memories. We want to thank him for showing us what unconditional love really is, for challenging us to face our true selves and be the best people and best parents that we can be. We also want to celebrate all that he has been through this past year - coming to life and becoming a human being - Boo has done more in the past 12 months than most of us do in 12 years!

So what if it's mostly adults who will be at the party? So what if he gets cake all over the sofa? So what if after opening his presents, his favorite toy is the big box that one of the toys came in, or the wrapping paper? In the end, we'll have tons of happy memories and tons of silly photos to remember the day that our son celebrated his first year of life.

First birthdays are, to me, cause for huge celebration. I wish I could invite the entire city and exclaim "This is OUR baby! He turns ONE today! Can you believe it?!" But babies turn one all over the world every day, and Boo is just one of them... but he's OUR Boo, and it's HIS first birthday... and we're going to celebrate, for us and for him... I can't wait!