Yesterday was the Toodle Bug's 9th birthday. Typically her birthday can be a hard day for me but for many reasons, this year for the first time ever, it really wasn't.
Probably because I almost forgot it was her birthday. I know, right? Loser mom here.
In my defense, this month has been a whirlwind of one thing after another. Between Charlie's birthday (that was also nearly forgotten), Knowledge Quest at school, Baccalaureate, Senior Farewell, Graduation/Grand March and then, the day after graduation attending Blake's college orientation (this was also on Father's Day) and getting her off to Paris on her French Club trip, Tessie's birthday just sort of got away from me this year.
It was on Wednesday that it hit me that Tessie's birthday was the next day. I mean, it's not like I hadn't known it was coming. I had thought about it several times but never really did anything to prepare because I was busy trying to get through graduation and making sure everything was ready for that. But, when you live on an island, you need to be prepared. There is no place to get party goods at the last minute.
And to top off my loser mom status, I had no present ready or even thought of to give her. You are totally shaking your head in disgust right now, aren't you? It's okay, I am too.
Still, like any good magician, I managed to pull the rabbit out of the hat and give her a family party complete with balloons and things I had left around the house from the ghosts of birthdays past that looked festive as well as a token present from a local store that she actually really likes.
All in all it looked like I hadn't really forgotten. It wasn't up to my usual standard because I am a girl who likes parties to look coordinated and well thought out but at least you could tell it was a birthday party.
Okay, okay, this was a train wreck as far as giving a nine year old a party goes BUT there is one thing I very intentionally did this year that I have no regrets about. Zero. Nada. None.
I refused to make a birthday cake for her.
Now this may seem cruel and uncaring but hear me out. Tess cannot eat the cake. She cannot even lick the frosting (remember she is on a very specialized diet for her seizures that allows for NO sugar at all, plus the risk of her aspirating anything we might allow her to taste by mouth even if she wasn't on this diet). She would be forced to have the cake shoved in her face while we all sing to her and help her blow out the candles that she cannot actually blow out. Then we would whisk the cake away from her, all eat it in front of her, and not let her have any. Now to me, that is just cruel and unusual punishment.
So, no way, Jose'. Not this year. We all sang her Happy Birthday after she opened her presents and very quietly had brownies that she never even had to see.
And that is why, despite all the things I did wrong for her birthday, I can still feel okay about it in the end...