Sunday, January 10, 2010

One Year Older and Wiser Too

Birthday parties for one year olds are stupid. I know that. I secretly snicker at all the first time parents who throw elaborate parties for their one year olds. But everyone does it...I did it for Joe, and Maggie, and maybe even Harry before I came to terms with what parties for one year olds really are....a lot of work for virtually no payoff except the pictures you can one day show your children to prove that, "yes, I really was a good parent," at least in all the ways the world could see.

Nonetheless, Jack is now one year old. And depsite my said feelings about it, we had a big, elaborate day to celebrate his first year of life. There was a theme and everything. We had guests with hats and cake and decorations. We even had a circus clown and ringleader for entertainment.

From january2010










We had a good time.







And someday I'll be able to show Jack these pictures, and he'll know how much I loved him as a baby...how much I enjoyed his perfect smile and toothless mouth and baby clapping hands.

This is the last party I'm planning on having for a one year old, and I wanted to celebrate it properly...not just for him, but for me as well. This past year has been a tough one for me. My body kind of gave out on me, or at least declared itself ready for a nice long break...from childbearing and everything else I've always asked it to do. And I didn't like that...I'm used to my body doing everything I want it to do...from being able to clean my house to being able to craft and sew and paint to just having the energy to stay awake the entire day. When my body protested, my spirit did too...I just didn't feel like me. And it made me mad, and sad, and everything else inbetween.


The one year mark is important to me...it symbolizes to me a step forward. It's a marker I can use to look ahead, to a time without diapers and bottles and carrying children on my hip. To a time when first steps are taken. To a time when all my children will be in primary or nursery when I go to church! (Only 26 more Sundays of walking the halls!) But it's also a time to reflect... on what a wonderful and fulfilling experience is it to mother a child through his first year of life. To bond with him and watch him grow...to see him develop his own distinct personality, even if he looks almost idendtical to every other male child I've ever had!

So while I've enjoyed these last ten years of one year old parties, I'm starting to look forward to parties for older children...where all you have to do is set out some food and videos, stay out of the way, and worry about an entirely new set of problems than whether or not your cake really looks like a circus tent. But I will always treasure the time when "Mom" is the most important word in a child's vocabulary...where Mom can fix anything and make anything better, just by being her. So here's to being one year older and perhaps a little wiser too.

8 comments:

Annee said...

beautifully written.

I couldn't agree more.

Chelsea said...

I like this. Party looks sweet. Tell John to stay away from me when dressed as a clown

april said...

you put that beautifully. even made me tear up a little. :)
i love the look on his face when he is looking at his cake. you make such cute kids, even if they do look all the same. :) makes me feel like i know them even when i haven't met the last few. :)

Macon Family said...

Happy 1st Birthday to John! I think you are an awesome mom and great example. You also made me tear up...thank you for reminding me what a privilege it is to be a mom and how fast it goes.

joeandcarole said...

What a great party for Jack! Up to your high standards of child extravaganzas! Thanks for letting us share...it was really fun. This may be your last 1 year old party, but look at all of the others that are ahead with all 6 of your little group! Lots of fun, fun to come.

V and Co. said...

um trust me if the opportunity presents itself we would be there in a heart beat. how awesome would it be to be all in the same area? i miss you guys.

Lange Family said...

Oh my gosh, Brooke, I'm crying right now! It feels a bit odd telling you this on a blog comment, but I cannot begin to describe how much I admire you. Your family is beautiful and so is your circus tent cake!

Erin Lange

Team Clark said...

What fun! Happy late birthday to Jack!