And now I have another birthday to celebrate! And really, people I think I'm gonna be just as crazy about Baby Girl's birthday as my own. If not more so. Because this December 16th, I'm not only celebrating our first year of life with my sweet little pixie, but I'm also celebrating how awesome I am. Now I'm not one to toot my own horn, but I'm pretty awesome. Do you KNOW how hard labor is? And let's be honest, I didn't have the most graceful of pregnancies what with all the puking and swelling and all - plus it's hard for a hobbit-footed hippopotamus to waddle around gracefully. So I say once a year it's reasonable to recognize just how awesome I am for surviving all of that misery! Who cares if every other mommy in the world went through the same thing and they don't see the need to throw themselves a party? I say, "Three cheers for ME!" Oh, and "Happy Birthday, Lila!"
Maybe I love birthdays because birthdays were always a huge deal growing up. My mom pulled out all the stops in the creativity department. (I won't mention that every year she would be up late the night before swearing "I'm never doing this again! Next year we're renting out Chuck E. Cheese and calling it done!") I had a princess party one year (okay maybe it was a few years in a row. What can I say? My daddy called me Princess, I had a complex maybe) and she drew a poster of a princess in front of a castle. Then she MADE magic wands as party favors (sewed little stuffed cloth stars and affixed them to the tops of wooden rods with streamers coming down. For reals.) Another party was a backwards party. She hand-made the invites, writing them each backwards so my friends had to hold them up to the mirror to read them. We all dressed backwards and we played backwards games and did everything in reverse order. Kids had to come to the back door and say "Ho ho ho! Merry Halloween" to get in (I'm not exactly sure why that's the backwards way to say Happy Birthday, but we thought it was hysterical). I could write a whole post about our birthday parties, but what I'm getting at is, I've got a lot to live up to!
So needless to say, I'm feeling like I need to have my A-game on to live up to the tradition my mom has created of over-the-top birthday parties AND set the precedent for all of Lila's birthday parties (not to mention to put a certain holiday in it's place). So today I was googling "awesome ideas for one-year-old birthday" and feeling a little disappointed by the LAME results (Mickey Mouse plates and napkins, a round cake with cupcake ears? That's all you got???) and I thought, I've got to tap into some true creative juices. That's you guys. I want to hear about your favorite parties growing up or good ideas you've witnessed or original ideas you have to celebrate Lila Josephine!
Because really, presents and parties aside, I think I really love birthdays because they celebrate life. Tony Campolo tells a story about the time he threw a birthday party for a prostitute because it seemed like the kind of thing that Jesus would do - bring celebration to people who have nothing to celebrate. The truth is, people are meant to be celebrated simply because they are. We seem to be hard-wired to appreciate genius and beauty. Just as we celebrate a work of art or a beautiful novel or a provocative movie or a football victory (did you SEE the Chiefs cream the 49ers??), we are meant to recognize the genius and beauty of God's favorite bit of creation. And never before in my life have I been so amazed by the creativity of the Lord than I have been as I have watched my daughter grow - first inside my belly and now outside of it. I can't think of anything more worth celebrating. In 82 days.