“Can I set my alarm for midnight?”
“Um….can you tell me why?”
“Because that is when I’ll be sure that daddy is asleep, and then I can get up and decorate the house for his birthday.”
The conversation plays out as many other conversations like this have played out in our home. In the end, the child does not set the alarm, but does get to take a chunk of school time to complete the decorating process.
It doesn’t take much for us to celebrate around here. Birthdays. Someone returning home from a trip. A sibling realizing that they were scoring a test wrong and in reality got a much better score. The beginning of football season. Being accepted into a summer dance program. The first episode of Survivor. Having conquered the much-dreaded SAT test. (Not getting the scores, but simply having taken the test). The SuperBowl. The arrival of a house guest. Being accepted into college. Mother’s/Father’s Day, and many, many other holidays.
Big or small, the reasons for celebrating are endless. In the beginning, it was my husband and I that championed the causes. Now, more times than not, I find myself giving the controls of the celebration planning and execution over to my highly-capable children. One is brilliant with decorations. Another is brilliant at crafting posters that are equally beautiful and loving. But whatever form the party takes, it is an expression of love, cheerleading, and belief in each other.
I would be completely off base if I communicated that we do things perfectly. If you stepped foot in my home unannounced, I would be humiliated by the spats and arguments you would hear coming from my children’s mouths. In the day to day, they are as equally hurtful as they are encouraging. However, let them catch wind of a chance to champion one of their own, recognize that someone needs encouragement, or that a great blessing has come to one of us, you can guarantee that there will be some sort of celebration.
I love it. I love having to stop by Target one more time to buy more streamers, balloons, special paper for posters, etc. I love that, when push comes to shove, we enjoy celebrating each other. It gives me hope for all of those times that all I see in front of me is the apparent distance between the kids. And it gives me hope that, as my children begin their journey towards independence and college, that they will still feel at home in the place where they will be celebrated.
Today is the day my youngest was born. She is an endearing blend of gentleness, leadership, compassion, and strength. We will be celebrating her 12th all day today – as it should be! Happy Birthday, Kitten!