Henry's first real birthday isn't for another seven months (although we have been acknowledging mini-birthdays every month around these parts!). Despite how far away his birthday is, I have been giving a little bit of thought to how we want to help him celebrate his birthday. I promise I'm not that much of a crazy planner; it's just that I spend a lot of time breast feeding and therefore spend a lot of time meandering around the internet on my iPhone.
Just like there's a lot of wedding porn (i.e., pictures of perfect weddings) out there that makes one feel inferior, there's also a lot of birthday party porn that can have the same effect. All the details are perfectly creative, perfectly coordinated, perfectly executed, and perfectly photographed.
And while I'm a sucker for fun, DIY details and can get wrapped up in the planning and implementation of pretty flourishes, I also try to force myself to step back and look at the bigger picture. The fact is, our time is pretty much a zero sum game. When we spend time doing something, we are not doing something else.
So if we spend all our time planning the color scheme, arranging the favors, and placing the flowers just right, what are we not doing?
Finn's birthday featured by his mom, Meg, over at Sew Liberated, illustrates this point exactly. There are no picture-perfect shots of a perfectly-themed birthday. Instead, there are pictures of a happy little boy who got to have a special day with his family and a few friends. The focus on meaningful traditions is very evident. There's the birthday ring, the crown, the personal photos, and the book entitled, On the Day You Were Born.
As Matt and I plan celebrations for Henry (and then with him when he gets older!), I hope that we can find a good balance between authenticity and appearances!