Thursday, April 29, 2010
My youngest daughter's third birthday has come and gone and that, up above, is the last of the tissue paper, folded and awaiting destruction in some unknown, future craft calamity.
This birthday was a particularly good one. In addition to a family party hosted by my in-laws, my husband and I invited a few friends and neighbours and their children to a kids' party at a local farm.
During the planning stages, I could think of only one possible glitch. My daughter has three neighbourhood friends with whom she plays nearly daily when the weather's good. I wanted to invite them all, but I knew that the family of one of her friends does not celebrate birthdays for religious reasons. It's not something that we have spoken about often and I was hesitant to bring up the subject at all.
But I did, of course. I approached the little boy's mom and asked if there was any way he'd be able to attend the party. I assured her that she need not bring a gift and that they could come just for the farm parts of the day, if they wished, and skip the birthday parts.
She said she'd think about it and let me know. I wonder now, and I really should ask at some point, how much she struggled with the decision. In the end, they came. The little guy climbed the hay mountain, fed the animals and ate pizza with the rest of the kids, then he slipped away with his mom during the song, cake and opening of gifts. It was seamless and easy and fun was had by all.
Yesterday, after dinner, my daughter's friend and his mom stopped by with a small thank you gift. The attached note said, "Thank you for including us in your day."
Possibly, I'm making more out of this than it deserves, but the whole experience has left me feeling pretty darn happy that we were able to find some common ground in a way that respected disparate beliefs. Yeah, it was a good birthday.