October is for birthdays here. It’s a busy month of fun parties and me processing my girls getting another year older. Another year gone by, too fast, for them and for me. The leaves changing in October are a beautiful symbol of this life cycle as we straddle two birthdays in seven days. Two girls getting older right in front of our eyes, like the golden leaves I see out my windows.
This year marked the tenth year of experiencing this. That is because my oldest daughter is 10 and I have officially been a mom for a decade. When I was in my early twenties, 10 years seemed more like a century. Now one season rolls into a next and before I get used to writing one year, 2015 is around the corner.
I feel like I finally have this mothering gig down. I’ve learned not to fret over the small stuff. I’m learning how to put myself first..sometimes.
I’m involved in a beyond-words-awesome yoga teacher training program where for nine months I stretch, grow and learn with a group of other fellow amazing yogis. I introduce this because it is changing how I approach some things…such as, birthday parties this year.
As you long time readers know, I LOVE kid birthday parties. I usually go all out with handmade invitations and things like decoupage gift boxes for takeaway treats. But I’m learning to let go of things – 10 years into this gig. I’ve realized something big – I don’t have to be perfect. And things turn out just fine.
The day my daughter was have a few girls spend the night to celebrate her 10th birthday, I knew I needed to do some yoga to keep myself grounded through the night. The homemade photo booth set up was not complete, I hadn’t hung the first decoration, yet I was able say – hey everyone, there is a yoga class this afternoon on seasonal flow and approaching fall with mindfulness – and I AM GOING.
There was noisy mayhem at home, and I still needed to go the store to get food to feed the crew. But I just hollered, “I’m leaving,” and drove away. It was the best decision.
After that, food was purchased, decorations were hung, some old curtains were clipped to the basement radiator pipes to make a backdrop for the “photo booth” and the party was a hit.
The photo booth was the best part. My daughter got the idea watching an episode of Junk Gypsy. I didn’t have it me to actually make a photo booth out from old doors and hang a chandelier in it. But we do have a clothing rack full of my old prom dresses, dance costumes, cheerleading outfits, Southern Belle dresses and more. And some old photo frames that were big enough to pose as a photo booth prop. So that’s what we did. Simple, impromptu and super fun. I took 150 photos of eight girls in different get-ups posing for the camera. I sent the photos for one hour processing at the drugstore and sent each girl home with photo book of their favorite party memories.
The big girls loved it. And after ten years of mothering, I was able to easily pull this off – and go to a two-hour yoga class that day.
Respecting my oldest girl’s privacy, and her request to not be featured much here anymore, I’m trying to not make this a birthday post about her. But I can not pass by the point that it was her birthday. Which always feels like my birthday too.
She was born at 12:17 in the afternoon after three hours and 17 minutes of pushing. It’s a tradition for me to tell the girls’ their birth stories every night before they go to be on their birthdays. This year her birthday fell on a school day, followed by Girl Scouts which meant she was doing her own thing all day and even forwent the annual tradition of the Walk Around Sun at school – a Montessori thing stories and photos are shared by the parents which the child walks around the sun one year for each year they have been on the planet. I didn’t see her all day!
When we did her family celebration that night I told her how much I missed her that day. Her reply almost made me cry.
“I know me too. At 12:17 I looked at my watch and was like, awwwwww.,” she said.
And that night, she heard her birth story for the 10th time.