What is a Birthday?

Today we had a gathering for my two year-old’s impending birthday tomorrow. Putting a whole bunch of children that age together does not resemble a party in the traditional sense. Lots of independent play with flashes of interaction was the norm. It is great that we have such a community of people who have children our younger one’s age. My daughter has no lack of companions, and as my son grows, he will also have a cohort of friends.

Given the last few days of chaos, lack of heating, and solo parenting, this event pretty much did me in. At the end of the party, my wife left for a several hour drive to pick up a new car, and she did not return before I ran out of steam and had to just give the kids dinner and put them in bed early with no bath.

What is a birthday? For my son, there was no connection between the insanity, fun insanity, of the day and his age. He does not understand age as a concept. For me and my wife it was a bunch of logistics and some good time hanging out with parents of like aged kids. For my daughter it was a chance to play with a few kids who have younger siblings in our son’s age range. Overall, it was a good one, but totally lost on the birthday boy.


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